In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: I last winter observed the

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00022

Source: The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature, New York Public Library. Transcribed from digital images of the original. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. Sculley Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett suggest that the mention of a "wild-drake" may connect this scrap to the line about a "wood-drake" in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself" (Leaves of Grass: Comprehensive Reader's Edition, ed. Harold W. Blodgett and Sculley Bradley [New York: New York University Press, 1965]). However, nothing else about the words in this manuscript suggest a connection to that line. The appearance of the paper, ink, and the letter forms do correspond with other pre-1855 manuscripts.

Contributors to digital file: Stephanie Blalock, Nicole Gray, and Brett Barney

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I this day last winter observed the Snow on a spree with
the Wild‑Drake; north west wind;

And it made me free of all put me out of conceit of fences hedges ^fences and imaginary

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