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About this Item

Title: Red Jacket (from Aloft)

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: October 10, 1884

Whitman Archive ID: per.00069

Source: The Philadelphia Press 10 October 1884: 4. Our transcription is based on a digital image of a microfilm copy of an original issue. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the periodical poems, see our statement of editorial policy.

Contributors to digital file: Elizabeth Lorang, April Lambert, and Susan Belasco

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[Impromptu on Buffalo City's commemoration of and monument to the old Iroquois orator, October 9, 1884.]

Upon this scene, this show,
Yielded to-day by fashion, learning, wealth,
(Nor in caprice alone—some grains of deepest
Haply, aloft, (who knows?) from distant
sky-clouds' blended shapes,
As some old tree, or rock or cliff, thrill'd
with its soul,
Product of Nature's sun, stars, earth direct—
a towering human form,
In hunting-shirt of film, arm'd with the
rifle, a half-ironical smile curving its
phantom lips,
Like one of Ossian's ghosts looks down.
Camden, N.J., Oct. 9, 1884.


1. Reprinted in the "Sands at Seventy" annex to Leaves of Grass (1888). [back]


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