In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: for droppings

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: loc.07512

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Transcribed from Joel Myerson's The Walt Whitman Archive: A Facsimile of the Poet's Manuscripts, vol. 1, part 2, Garland Publishing, 1993; Primary Source Media's Major American Authors on CD-Rom: Walt Whitman, 1997; 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: At the top of this manuscript, Whitman has written "for droppings." "Leaves-Droppings" was the name given to a section of correspondence and reviews that Whitman included in the back of the 1856 edition of Leaves of Grass. It seems he also considered giving that title to the cluster of poems in the 1860 edition that was eventually titled "Enfans d'Adam." Given that this manuscript contains a proposal for a poem, it's possible that Whitman envisioned it being included in the "Enfans d'Adam" cluster, suggesting a composition date in the late 1850s. However, as the "Leaves-Droppings" title had been on his mind as early as 1855 or 1856, it's also possible that this scrap was written earlier.

Related item: On the back of this manuscript are poetic lines that may have contributed to the second poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, a poem eventually titled "A Song for Occupations." See loc.00013.

Contributors to digital file: Justin St. Clair, Jean Dickinson, Brett Barney, Kenneth M. Price, Nicole Gray, and Kevin McMullen

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for droppings

Poem—embodying the sentiment of perfect happiness, in myself th body and soul being all right—regardless of whatever may happen.

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