In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: To pass existence is so

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00052

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. The draft line is similar in subject to lines used in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The numbering, paper, and ink are also similar to other manuscripts that feature lines that appeared in that poem.

Related item: On the back of this manuscript is another poetry draft. See nyp.00732.

Contributors to digital file: Stephanie Blalock, Caitlin Henry, Nicole Gray, and Robert LaCosse

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If tTo pass existence be is so good,
what room there is no chance can there be
[for death?]

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