In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Poem—a perfect school

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before or early in 1855

Whitman Archive ID: tul.00011

Source: Walt Whitman Ephemera, University of Tulsa. 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: This manuscript was probably written in about 1855. The proposed poem about "a perfect school" is not known to have been published, although words and sentiments that appear in this manuscript also appeared in the poem that was eventually titled "Song of Myself."

Related item: On the back of this leaf are draft lines that were used in the third poem in the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass, eventually titled "To Think of Time." See tul.00002.

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Andy Jewell, Kenneth Price, Brett Barney, Nick Krauter, Lisa Renfro, and Katrina Robertson

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Poem—a perfect school,
gymnastic, moral, mental and
sentimental,—in which
magnificent men are formed
—old persons come just as
much as youth—gymnastics,
physiology, music, swimming bath
—large saloons adorned with
pictures and sculpture—great ideas
not taught in sermons but imbibed
as health is imbibed—
—love—love of woman—all manly exercises
—riding, rowing—the greatest persons
come—the president comes and
the governors come—political economy
—the American idea in all its
amplitude and comprehensiveness—
—grounds, gardens, flowers, grains—
cabinets—old history taught—


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