In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: For example, whisper

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before 1855

Whitman Archive ID: med.00726

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:163. Grier based his text on Notes and Fragments, ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899), 168. The location of this manuscript is unknown. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Because this manuscript has not been located it is difficult to speculate on the circumstances or date of its composition, but based on the content it seems likely that it was written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was composing his first edition of Leaves of Grass. The manuscript note about the "superb wonder of a blade of grass" may relate to similar statements in the prose preface and the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." In Notes and Fragments, Richard Maurice Bucke transcribes the manuscript with "Enter into the thoughts of" and describes it as "a very early note, the paper torn and almost falling to pieces."

Contributors to digital file: Janel Cayer, Jeannette Schollaert, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, and Brett Barney

For example, whisper privately in your ear . . . the studies . . . be a rich investment if they . . . to bring the hat instantly off the . . . all his learning and bend himself to feel and fully enjoy . . . superb wonder of a blade of grass growing up green and crispy from the ground.


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