In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: The power by which the

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before or early in 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00029

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: The imagery of this manuscript is echoed in several other manuscripts, as well as in a line of the opening poem of the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass—the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself" (see "you know how," "I know a rich capitalist," and "the crowds naked in the"). These relationships suggest that this manuscript dates to early in 1855 or before. Edward Grier has observed that "the writing suggests a date in the 1850s" (see Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:136).

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, Kenneth M. Price, Regan Chasek, Caitlin Henry, Brett Barney, and Stephanie Blalock

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The power by which the carpenter plumbs his house, is the same power that dashes his brains out if he fall from the roof.—

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