In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: By day the distant

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: October 1883

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00009

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript is likely an early draft of "With Husky-Haughty Lips, O Sea!" a poem published first in Harper's Monthly, March 1884. The manuscript was probably written in October, 1883. It is written on the inside of an envelope, opened up, that bears the address "Mr. Walt Whitman, Camden, New Jersey." The postmarks on the verso are dated October 11 and 12, 1883, and Whitman's visit to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, in September and October of 1883 was the inspiration for the poem.

Contributors to digital file: Melissa Sinner, Justin St. Clair, Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, Brett Barney, Nick Krauter, and Lisa Renfro

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By day the distant, ? shadowy
sails, the steamers' pennant
trails of smoke

Some vast soul, like a planet's,
bound, arrested, tied,

Watching the distant, shadowy sails,

My sight and senses given to
to thee—the —thy ? saline smell odor,

They distant shadowy sails—the
steamers' pennant-trails of

The flying soaring gull hawks and flocks

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