In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Of this broad and majestic

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: nyp.00549

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 discussion of the vastness of time and space is similar to a passage from the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." Words like "timothy" and "clover" and the phrase about "the buckwheat" from this manuscript appear in the poem as well, although they were also used in later poems. The leaf looks like it may have been extracted from a notebook.

Related item: Written on the back of this leaf are several poetic lines. A phrase from one of them appeared in the poem ultimately titled "I Sing the Body Electric." See nyp.00085.

Contributors to digital file: Brett Barney, Janel Cayer, Jeannette Schollaert, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth M. Price

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Of all that there is in the this broad and majestic universe, you can mention nothing either ^all in the visible world, or ^and much in the greater world invisible, that is not but what is owned by the Poet.—He owns the solid ground and tills it and reaps from every field and harvests fro the cotton and grain, dried grass. ^the timothy and the clovers.—.—All the woods and all the orchards—the corn, with its ear and stalks and tassels—the buckwheat with and its sweet white blossoms tops where and the bees ^that hum ^there all day—
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