In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: If you have in you

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1854 and 1870

Whitman Archive ID: med.00745

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed.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), 6:2042. Grier based his text on Walt Whitman's Workshop, ed. Clifton J. Furness (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1928), 44. 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, but Edward Grier notes that Whitman visited hospitals as early as 1854, "beginning with visits to sick omnibus drivers whom he knew." The manuscript is likely from sometime between 1854 and several years after the Civil War. No connection between this manuscript and Whitman's published works has been established.

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

If you have in you that which makes you realize the delicious-{ness} of visiting the sick in hospitals and the poor—if you have those sublime moments released from all cares and soaring to the idea of God, rapt, sublime—if elate with immortality, realizing the divine of man, then you have the curious something, the crown of life and being, the lumine of the soul, without which all else is darkness, religion—no matter whether in one country or another, one age or another, one profession or another, pagan, Mahometan, Christian, or atheist—


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