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About this Item

Title: Poemet

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: January 28, 1860

Whitman Archive ID: per.00073

Source: New-York Saturday Press 28 January 1860: 2. 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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[For the Saturday Press.]


Of him I love day and night, I dreamed I heard he was
And I dreamed I went where they had buried him I
love—But he was not in that place,
And I dreamed I wandered, searching among burial-
places, to find him,
And I found that every place was a burial-place,
The houses full of life were equally full of death, (This
house is now,)
The streets, the shipping, the places of amusement, the
Chicago, Philadelphia, the Mannahatta, Boston,
were as full of the dead as of the living,
And fuller, O vastly fuller, of the dead than of the
—And what I dreamed I will henceforth tell to every
person and age,
And I stand henceforth bound to what I dreamed;
And now I am willing to disregard burial-places, and
dispense with them,
And if the memorials of the dead were put indiffer-
ently everywhere, even in the room where I eat or
sleep, I should be satisfied,
And if the corpse of any one I love, or if my own
corpse, be duly rendered to powder and poured in
the sea, I shall be satisfied,
Or if it be distributed to the winds, I shall be satisfied.


1. This poem later appeared as "Calamus No. 17," Leaves of Grass (1860); as "Of Him I Love Day and Night," Leaves of Grass (1867); and, with slight changes in the text, in "Passage to India," Leaves of Grass (1871-72). [back]


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