In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Returning to my pages' front once

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1871 and 1876

Whitman Archive ID: loc.00088

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 a draft of lines in "Out from Behind This Mask," a poem published first in the New York Tribune on February 19, 1876. This manuscript was probably written in the early to mid-1870s, after the creation of the photograph upon which "Out from Behind This Mask" is based and before publication of the poem in the Tribune.

Contributors to digital file: Jennifer Overcamp, Nick Krauter, Nicole Gray, Andrew Jewell, Kenneth Price, and Brett Barney

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(Returning to my pages' front once
more, resuming all,

Songs, sorrows, tragedies, with stalwart
joys—O heaven!

The passionate, teeming play this curtain

A glance look—a flashing token of my‑
self—to future time.

I launch to To yYou, whoe'er you
are, I launch, through space

These burin'd eyes—this globe head & face.

These convolutions, miniature of all

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