In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: What babble is this about

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: med.00902

Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, Notes and Fragments, ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co. (printer), 1899), 46. 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 of its composition, but it is possible that it was written in the early 1850s as Whitman was preparing materials for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The language in the manuscript is similar to language in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself."

Contributors to digital file: Caitlin Henry and Nicole Gray

What babble is this about virtue . . . . . . . . . . . .

I tell you I love all—I love what you call vice just the same as I love virtue.


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