In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Will you have the walls

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00085

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 item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: This manuscript was probably written between 1850 and 1855, when Whitman was preparing material for the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The ideas and language in the last section of the manuscript may relate to the first poem of that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." The first part of this manuscript resembles a line in the fifth poem of that edition, eventually titled "I Sing the Body Electric." The leaf looks like it may have been extracted from a notebook.

Related item: On the back of this leaf are crossed-out prose notes. See nyp.00549.

Contributors to digital file: Stephanie Blalock, Caitlin Henry, Nicole Gray, John Owen Havard, and Chris Forster

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Will you have the walls [cut away] the world with the air and the fringed clouds


The Poet says God and me

What do you want from us

Ask, and may be we give it you


The Soul addresses God as his equal—as one who knows its greatness—as a younger brother

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