In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Living Pictures

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Before 1855

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00516

Source: Papers of Walt Whitman (MSS 3829), Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert H. Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of manuscripts, see our statement of editorial policy.

Editorial note: The handwriting and Whitman's use of the long "s" in several of the words suggest that this is an early manuscript. It is possible that these lines are early notes for the second poem in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, eventually titled "A Song for Occupations." This manuscript may also relate to "Pictures," a lengthy manuscript poem held at the Beinecke Library at Yale University that was probably written in the mid- to late-1850s.

Related item: On the back of this leaf is a list, almost certainly written later than the prose on the front, of subjects on which to write "a cluster of poems."

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

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

[Page image:]

[begin hashmark section]

Life Living Pictures

Evening, Nowhere, in the known world, can so many, and such beautiful living Pictures be seen as in these United States!


Here labour is different from any other country in the world ^all forms of practical labour is manly, recognized as honorable.—The man who tends the President's horses, not one whit less a man than the President.—The healthy, fine-formed girl who tends waits upon the great wealthy lady, not less than the wealthy Lady.—

He, who carries bricks ^& mortar to the mason, not less than the mason,

The mason who lays the bricks, not one tittle less than the builder, who engages employs, him,

The ^architect & builder of the house, no less than

[end hashmark section]

[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.