Published Works


About this Item

Title: Orange Buds by Mail from Florida

Creator: Walt Whitman

Date: March 19, 1888

Whitman Archive ID: per.00126

Source: New York Herald 19 March 1888: 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

image 1

cropped image 1

Orange Buds by Mail from Florida.1

[Voltaire closed a famous argument by claiming that a ship of war and the grand opera were proofs enough of civilization's and France's progress, in his day.]

A lesser proof than old Voltaire's, yet greater,
Proof of this present time, and thee, thy broad
expanse, America,
To my plain Northern hut, in outside clouds
and snow,
Brought safely for a thousand miles o'er land
and tide,
Some three days since on their own soil live
Now here their sweetness through my room un-
A bunch of orange buds by mail from Florida.2


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

2. Like Whitman's poem "The First Dandelion," "Orange Buds By Mail From Florida" provoked public reaction in the aftermath of a March blizzard that crippled the coast. A piece from the Hartford Times reprinted in the Herald on March 21 proclaimed, "if Walt will poeticize a little on a lump of coal from Nova Scotia, and tell us of the civilization and progress that place a governmental tax upon it, we will gratefully welcome him to our homes and hearts in this day of blizzards." [back]


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.