In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: I say that if once

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: 1850s

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00101

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 paper and ink, as well as the appearance of a transcription of this manuscript along with transcriptions of other early manuscripts in the "Notes on the Meaning and Intention of 'Leaves of Grass'" section of Notes and Fragments (1899), edited by Richard Maurice Bucke, suggest Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the 1850s. Bucke's transcription concludes with the following words, which do not currently appear on the manuscript: "where they fail of themselves" (55). In The Regenerate Lyric (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), Elisa New attributes the manuscript to "the period when the first drafts of Leaves of Grass were taking shape" (112). An image of the back of the leaf is not currently available.

Contributors to digital file: Caitlin Henry and Nicole Gray

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[Page image:]

I do not expect to dispel the

I say that if ^once the conventional distinctions were dis-pelled from our eyes, we should see just as much—by arguing against them—I p assume to take the sweep them away by advancing to a new phase of development [cut away]


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