In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: I think I could dash

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: Between 1850 and 1855

Whitman Archive ID: uva.00600

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: Whitman probably drafted this manuscript in the early 1850s as he was composing the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass. The manuscript may relate to a passage about touch that appeared in the first poem in that edition, eventually titled "Song of Myself." In his transcription of this manuscript, Richard Maurice Bucke included lines at the beginning and end that read: "Yet I strike and dart through . . . . . . " and "I am a creased and cut sea; the furious wind . . . . . ." (Notes and Fragments [London, Ontario: A. Talbot & Co., printers, 1899], 34–5). These lines do not currently appear on the manuscript.

Related item: Draft lines written on the back of this manuscript leaf relate to lines in the poem eventually titled "Song of Myself." See uva.00269.

Contributors to digital file: Brandon James O'Neil and Nicole Gray

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I think I could put dash the axle girder of the earth

It it rose lay between me and what another
I wanted.—what my touch wanted any thing whatever I wanted.—.—

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Surely I am out of my head!

I am lost to myself and someth something
Nature in another form has laid down in my place.

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