In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Merely What I tell is

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1860

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00271

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: These manuscript lines were probably written in the 1850s. They bear a strong resemblance to ideas expressed in the opening lines of poem #14 of "Chants Democratic and Native American," which first appeared in the 1860 Leaves of Grass. The lines eventually became part of the independent poem "Poets to Come."

Related item: A series of draft lines are written on the back of this manuscript leaf. See uva.00272.

Notes written on manuscript: On leaf 1 recto, in unknown hand: "21"

Contributors to digital file: Nicole Gray, Leslie Ianno, and Ken Price

[begin leaf 1 recto] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]

^Merely What I tell is not to justify me,

What I provoke from you, and from the
times ensuing times, is to justify me.—

[begin leaf 1 verso] -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[Page image:]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.