Verse > Walt Whitman > Leaves of Grass

Walt Whitman (1819–1892).  Leaves of Grass.  1900.

NOTES  1–9

1. One’s-Self I Sing

First published in 1870.

2. As I Ponder’d in Silence

First published in 1870.

3. In Cabin’d Ships at Sea

First published in 1870.

4. To Foreign Lands

First published in 1860. In that and 1867 under title of “To Other Lands.”

  l. 1  1860 ’67 read “I hear you have been asking for something to represent the new race, our self-poised Democracy.”

  l. 2  Line 2. Added in 1870.

5. To a Historian

First published in 1860 as No. 10—“Chants Democratic.”

  1860 reads:

“HISTORIAN! you who celebrate bygones!
You have explored the outward, the surface of the races—the life that has exhibited itself,
You have treated man as the creature of politics, aggregates, rulers, and priests;
But now I also, arriving, contribute something:
I, an habitué of the Alleghanies, treat man as he is in the influences of Nature, in himself, in his own inalienable rights,
Advancing, to give the spirit and the traits of new Democratic ages, myself, personally,
(Let the future behold them all in me—Me, so puzzling and contradictory—Me, a Manhattanese, the most loving and arrogant of men;)
I do not tell the usual facts, proved by records and documents,
What I tell, (talking to every born American,) requires no further proof than he or she who will hear me, will furnish, by silently meditating alone;
I press the pulse of the life that has hitherto seldom exhibited itself, but has generally sought concealment, (the great pride of man, in himself,)
I illuminate feelings, faults, yearnings, hopes—I have come at last, no more ashamed nor afraid;
Chanter of Personality, outlining a history yet to be,
I project the ideal man, the American of the future.”

  l. 4  Songs Before Parting reads “habitué.”

6. For Him I Sing

First published in 1870.

7. When I read the Book

First published in 1867.

  l. 4  1867 reads

“(As if any man really knew aught of my life;
As if you, O cunning Soul, did not keep your secret well!)”

8. Beginning my Studies

First published in “Drum Taps,” 1865.

  l. 3  “love.” Added in 1870.

  l. 5  Drum Taps read:

“I have never gone, and never wish’d to go, any farther,
But stop and loiter all my life, to sing it in extatic songs.”

9. To Thee, Old Cause!

First published in 1870.


Check out our other writing samples, like our resources on Process Analysis Essay Examples, Political Parties Essay, Poetry Comparison Essay.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.