In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: How mean a person is

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before or early in 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00523

Source: The Oscar Lion Papers, 1914–1955, New York Public Library, New York, N.Y. 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: On the back of this leaf, Whitman drafted trial lines of the poem that was eventually titled "Song of Myself." Based on this, Edward Grier dates this manuscript to before or early in 1855 (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:180).

Related items: This manuscript is glued to another manuscript that also features lines of prose. On the back of the leaf are draft lines of poetry. See nyp.00079 and nyp.00524.

Contributors to digital file: Kirsten Clawson, Janel Cayer, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth M. Price

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How mean a person is sometimes a rich man or a man in great office—even in the Presidency!

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