In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: such a thing as ownership

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Undated

Whitman Archive ID: med.00740

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:120. 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 the 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. Edward Grier notes that "the idea expressed is one that occupied [Whitman's] mind" as he prepared the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass.

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

such a thing as ownership here anyhow—one of the laws being that from the moment a man takes the smallest page exclusively to himself, and tries to keep it from the rest, from that moment it begins to wither under his hand and its immortal hieroglyphics presently fade away and become blank.


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