In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: And I say the stars

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00042

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from The Walt Whitman Archive I: Whitman Manuscripts at the Library of Congress, ed. Joel Myerson (New York: Garland, 1993), 2:522-523; Major American Authors on CD-Rom: Walt Whitman (Westport, CT: Primary Source Media, 1997). The transcription was then checked against 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: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The lines are similar to lines in the first and third poems in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself" and "To Think of Time." Similar draft lines also appear in "Talbot Wilson," an early notebook.

Related item: On the back of this manuscript is a partial draft of "Memorial in Behalf of a Freer Municipal Government, and Against Sunday Restrictions," printed in the Brooklyn Star on October 20, 1854. See loc.07869.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Brett Barney, Kenneth M. Price, Farrah Lehman, Amy Hezel, Justin St. Clair, and Jean Dickinson

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[cut away] What Nothing postpones puts off or waits, except man

I am the Poet of Reality;


And I say this ^the earth ^ globe world is not an ^ [ earth and ?] the stars are not echo,s

And [Nor?] I say that And I say that man is not ^space is not an apparition;

But that all the things seen or demonstrated are so;

Witnesses and albic dawns of things equally great,
not yet seen.—

I am announce myself the Poet of Reality; Materialisms: and exact demonstration and Positive science

Reality is eternal;

say that It is just ^Materials are just as eternal as Growth [illegible] growth, the semen
of God, that swims the entire [universe.?] creation.—

Hurrah for Material Positive Science! Positive Science!

Bring honey‑clover and branches of lilac!

These are the ^ serene Philosophers of Nature,;

Every one admirable and serene,

Travelling, the earth sailing, measuring space,

Botanizing, dissecting, or making machines.—

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