In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Do you ask me

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1870

Whitman Archive ID: med.00730

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed.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), 1:208. Grier based his text on Walt Whitman's Workshop, ed. Clifton J. Furness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928), 45. 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 the manuscript has not been located it is difficult to speculate on the circumstances or date of its composition. The manuscript's language and phrasing resembles that of the early editions of Leaves of Grass, so it is possible that it was written in the 1850s or 1860s.

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

Do you ask me what are my own particular dangers and complaints—what is taken that belongs to me—I complain not of myself—What have I to complain of for myself—Everything is mine that I want, and I know of nothing to be had at all which I could not work for and get.


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