In Whitman's Hand


About this Item

Title: Funeral Interpolations

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: August 1888

Whitman Archive ID: yal.00013

Source: Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. 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 is a printer's copy of the poem first published as "Over and Through the Burial Chant" in the New York Herald on August 12, 1888. The poem was later retitled "Interpolation Sounds." The manuscript was at least partially composed between August 5 and August 11, 1888. General Philip Henry Sheridan died on August 5, 1888, and Whitman composed this poem as a response to his death. The note at the top of the manuscript, which is crossed out in blue pencil, notes that Whitman wanted this poem published the day of Sheridan's funeral ceremonies, held on August 11, 1888. Some of the revisions, particularly those in blue pencil, were quite possibly made after that date.

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

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ad Sheridan

Put this in the day of Sheridan's burial ceremonies—Personal

proof reader please by copy

[wrap?] lead

Funeral Sounds not in Interpolations.

Over and through the burial chant,

Organ and solemn service, sermon, bending

To one come stealing- ^interpolation- sounds not in the show—
plainly to me all through athwart ^crowding up the aisle
and ^from the window, sounding,

Of sudden battle's hurry and harsh noises—
war's, war's grim game to sight and
ear in earnest,

The scout call'd up ^and forward——the General ^mounted, and his
aids ^around him——the new-brought word—the
instantaneous order issued;

The rifle-crack—the cannon thud—the
rushing-forth of men from their tents,

The clank of cavalry—the strange celerity
of forming ranks,—the slender bugle note,

The sound of horses' hoofs departing—saddles
arms, accoutrements.

Walt Whitman



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