In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: As of Forms.

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1856 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00124

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. 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 between 1856 and 1860, when Whitman was working on the poems for the third edition of Leaves of Grass.

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

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As of Forms.—

Their genesis, all genesis,

They lost, all lost—for
they include all.—

The earth and every thing in it,

The wave, the snake, the babe, the
landscape, the human head,

Things, faces, reminiscences, presences,
conditions, thoughts—sSuch tally
in the soul to ^and make definite a divine in‑
distinct, spiritual delight in
the sSoul.—

Of the arts, as music, poems, ar‑
chitecture, outlines, and the rest,
they are in their way to provoke
this delight out of the soul,

They are to seek it where it waits—
for I see that it always pa‑
tiently waits.—

Have you sought [after for ?] the inkling?

Have you wandered far after your
inkling of
the meanings of the
earth? You need not wander;

Behold those forms.—

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