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1. For other photographs of Whitman, see the special double issue of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 2–3 (1986–87), which brings together all known photographs of the poet for the first time—some 130 in number, ranging from the early 1840s to 1891. [BACK]

2. See Richard Rorty,Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998), p. 18. Rorty provides a brief and insightful discussion of body-worship as an alternative to God-worship in Leaves of Grass. In directing attention toward Whitman's inner life, I do not mean to minimize the importance of those cultural roughnesses inflicted on him by the cruelly intolerant “priests” who authored the “logic and sermons” he was seeking to disavow. Rather, I am attempting to describe the analogies between these inner and outer systems of emotion and belief. [BACK]

3. For a philosophical approach to Whitman and the uses of compassion, see Martha Nussbaum, “Poets as Judges,” in Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995), 74–121 and passim. She praises Whitman as a poet “whose commitment both to narrative and to the conscious depiction of different ways of life brings him into close contact with the novel” (p. 7). [BACK]

4. See Dana Brand, The Spectator and the City in Nineteenth-Century American Literature (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991), p. 179. I draw on his lively and astute discussion of Whitman and the Knickerbocker journalists in the discussion that follows. [BACK]

5. Rorty, Achieving Our Country, p. 24. [BACK]

6. I exaggerate here to make a point, since we can't rule out the possibility that Whitman recorded his meeting with Emerson in a notebook now missing or subsequently destroyed by him. My hunch, however, is that if he kept a record, it wasn't a detailed one. [BACK]

7. See, for example, Fanny Fern's titillating praise of Whitman's broad shoulders, exposed “muscular throat,” and “ample chest” in “Peeps from under a Parasol,” a newspaper column in which she attacked the “pretty” gentleman who defined the New York literary establishment, which notoriously included several of her own brothers, by reversing the male gaze. Her satiric appropriation of Whitman as a sex object in her effort to sponsor a more democratic literary culture is reprinted in Ruth Hall and Other Writings, ed. Joyce W. Warren (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1986), pp. 272–73. Fern later became the first woman to praise Leaves of Grass in print, calling it “Well baptized: fresh, hardy, and grown for the masses” (p. 274). [BACK]

8. Walt Whitman, quoted in Joseph Jay Rubin, The Historic Whitman (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1973), p. 222. [BACK]

9. Rubin, Historic Whitman, p. 376. [BACK]

10. From late December 1849 to late February 1850, for example, Whitman edited the first issues of the New York Daily News, but the paper was unable to attract enough subscribers to remain in business. Whitman lost his job when the paper folded. [BACK]


11. In 1850, Whitman published three poems experimenting with a new free-verse line. “Blood-Money” appeared in the New York Tribune Supplement on March 22 and again in the Evening Post on April 30; “The House of Friends” in the New York Tribune on June 14; and “Resurgemus” in the Tribune on June 21 and again in the Dispatch on August 28. A fourth poem, “Song for Certain Congressmen,” later titled “Dough-Face Song,” appeared in the Post on March 2, but it is a doggerel piece employing strict rhythms and rhymes. “Resurgemus” was untitled in Leaves of Grass 1855, called “Poem of The Dead Young Men of Europe, the 72nd and 73rd Years of These States” in 1856, and titled “Europe” in 1860. This title stuck. [BACK]

12. “My Boys and Girls” is part of Whitman's bachelor-persona group. Published in 1844, it asks, “What would you say, dear reader, were I to claim the nearest relationship to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson?” He mentions little Louisa, a composite of his mother and sister Hannah Louisa, and a sexually precocious fourteen-year-old apparently modeled on his sister Mary. But he omits the most troublesome two brothers, Jesse and Ed. See EPF 248–50. [BACK]

13. Richard Maurice Bucke, Walt Whitman (Philadelphia: David McKay, 1883), p. 18 n. [BACK]

14. Helen E. Price, “Reminiscences of Walt Whitman,” New York Evening Post, May 31, 1919, p. 2: “When we first knew him, before the contraction of his first name became so common, he told us of a stranger who came up to him, and clapping him on the shoulder said: ‘Well, Walt, how are you?’ He evidently resented the familiarity, and one of us asked him if he liked being called by his first name or its contraction. ‘No,’ he said, ‘not by strangers, but I want my friends to call me so: you all and the girls also.’ My sister was only thirteen at the time. Incidentally I will add that I never heard his mother call him ‘Walt.’ To her he was always ‘Walter.’” Reprinted in Walt Whitman in His Own Time: A Biographical Chronicle of His Life, Drawn from Recollections, Memoirs, and Interviews by Friends and Associates, ed. Joel Myerson (Detroit: Omnigraphics, 1991), pp. 274–82. [BACK]

15. See, for example, a letter of April 4, 1860, which begins, “Walter it is so strange you have not got my letter I sent one last friday morning and should have written more particularly but Jeff said he would write to you the first of last week but when he was home on sunday he said he had not written. … Walt there was A letter come from Boston wanted A Book and I made a mistake and put some other in the letter I sent you, so I will send it in this. … Jesse is working he wants to come home I told him I had hired so much of the house out he would have to hire his board write Walt if you got my letter.” The original, along with 141 other autograph letters from Louisa to Walt that were written from 1860 to 1873, is in the Trent Collection, William R. Perkins Library, Duke University. See also a letter written on October 26, 1863, which reads in part, “My dear walt i was sorry my being so late last week with my letter caused you any uneaseness if any thing was the matter with me more than common you would be advised of it my dear walter so if any thing occurs that i dont write as usual you must not think any thing unusual is the matter) i got the order walter last saturday and was going down to day to get the money but the wind blew so hard i

was afraid to venture it rained here last night very hard). … not one word have i had from Jeff or matt or han or mary you are my whole dependance.” [BACK]

16. After Whitman addressed the Brooklyn Art Union on the evening of March 31, 1851, the Brooklyn Daily Advertizer reprinted the speech on April 3 under the title “Art and Artists.” According to Emory Holloway, UPP 1:241, the subcaption reads, “Remarks of Walt Whitman, before the Brooklyn Art Union, on the evening of March 31, 1851.” However, Holloway's reprint turns out to be inaccurate. The Brooklyn Daily Advertizer reads “Walter,” not “Walt.”

See also Whitman's letter to his coworker Andrew Kerr, written on August 25, 1866 in which he satirizes the “original & solemn advice, ‘Be virtuous—& you will be happy,’” signing himself “from your Christian friend—Walter” (Corr 1:284). [BACK]

17. Thomas Jefferson Whitman, as quoted in Dear Brother Walt: The Letters of Thomas Jefferson Whitman, ed. Dennis Berthold and Kenneth M. Price (Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1984), p. 15. [BACK]

18. “I suppose I shall not be a true Whitman,” Jeff wrote to Walt in 1863, “if I dont get disheartened.” He had been explaining his “‘real estate’ scheme.” See Dear Brother Walt, p. 25. [BACK]

19. For a reading of this passage as a “toast” to the nation's health, see Joan Burbick, “Biodemocracy in Leaves of Grass,” in Healing the Republic: The Language of Health and the Culture of Nationalism in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994), p. 114. She further suggests that Whitman's “poetic language represents the United States by privileging the human body as the key to democratic meaning. If the body can be expressed in language, the democratic experiment can be known.” [BACK]

20. See, for example, Arthur Golden, “The Ending of the 1855 Version of ‘Song of Myself,’” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 3, no. 4 (spring 1986): 27–30. Golden comes down on the side of a chance misprint. [BACK]

21. For further discussion of the venerable New Orleans romance theory, which Whitman helped to foster, see chapter 5. The myth dies hard. See, for example, Yusef Komunyakaa: “that octoroon in New Orleans / Who showed you how passion / Ignited dogwoods, how it came / From inside the singing sap,” in “Kosmos,” Walt Whitman: 19 Poets on His Work & Influence, Massachusetts Review 33, no. 1 (spring 1992): 87. [BACK]

22. As David Cavitch explains in My Soul and I: The Inner Life of Walt Whitman (Boston: Beacon Press, 1985), in New Orleans Whitman was “farther from the center of his life than he could expect to endure except as an exile”:

Whitman may have been stimulated by the cosmopolitan, Southern culture of New Orleans in the feverish military atmosphere right after the Mexican War, but whatever attractions he found in the city did not reach deep or hold him long. This single venture far away from home ended in an abrupt disappointment that has never been fully explained, though the utter unlikelihood of Whitman thriving in such a remote place may be enough to account for his return to Brooklyn in just three months. He was too uneasy over the distance between himself and his home life. (p. 17)

On Whitman's quarrel with his employers J. E. McClure and A. H. Hayes, publishers of the New Orleans Crescent, see, for example, Gay Wilson Allen, The

Solitary Singer: A Critical Biography of Walt Whitman (1955; reprint, New York: New York University Press, 1967), pp. 98–99. [BACK]

23. Whitman was using an 1846 London translation of Bernhard Ingemann's 1828 novel, which he proposed to retitle The Sleeptalker. Set in thirteenth century Denmark and chronicling struggles for national unity, The Childhood of King Erik Menved: An Historical Romance describes conflicts between personal love and patriotic duty which are, in the end, cheerfully resolved. The defiant trances of one of the leading female characters evidently caught Whitman's attention and may have contributed to the dream-vision frame of “The Sleepers.” [BACK]

24. For an excellent discussion of Whitman's 1856 letter to Emerson, see Kenneth M. Price, “Whitman on Emerson: New Light on the 1856 Letter,” American Literature 56, no. 1 (March 1984), 83–87. For the larger context of Whitman's relationship to Emerson, see Jerome Loving,Emerson, Whitman, and the American Muse (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982). [BACK]

25. Among the many passing notices of Whitman's links to the Young America movement, there is a particularly thorough discussion offered by Thomas Bender, in New York Intellect: A History of Intellectual Life in New York City, from 1750 to the Beginnings of Our Own Time (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987), pp. 147–55. Bender concludes, “In time, however, Whitman did diverge in an important way from the political and cultural principles of the Democratic Review. As we have noted, Young America believed that political reform, esspecially equal rights, represented the fundamental reform, the one that would bring social improvement and the flowering of a democratic culture. Whitman eventually rejected that vision, believing, increasingly, that cultural reform, not politics, would be the path to a fulfilled American democracy” (p. 155). [BACK]

26. See The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958), 2:333, 373–74, 391–92. On Dickinson and Susan, see Vivian R. Pollak, Dickinson: The Anxiety of Gender (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1984); Martha Nell Smith, Rowing in Eden: Rereading Emily Dickinson (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1992); Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Letters to Susan Huntington Dickinson, ed. Ellen Louise Hart and Martha Nell Smith (Ashfield, Mass.: Paris Press, 1998). See also The Master Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. R. W. Franklin (Amherst, Mass.: Amherst College Press, 1986). Franklin changes the order of the sequence established by Johnson, but Johnson's psychology is more believable and I am not persuaded that Franklin's textual evidence in this instance is compelling. [BACK]

27. Whitman is referring to the poet's younger brother Samuel Longfellow, pastor of the Second Unitarian Church in Brooklyn, whom he met during the summer of 1855 after Leaves of Grass was published. Samuel Longfellow was acquainted with Emerson, Alcott, and Thoreau, among others; in late December 1856, Alcott's Journal describes meeting Whitman there. Henry Kirke Brown (1814–1886) is perhaps best known for his equestrian statue of George Washington at Union Square in New York. According to the Dictionary of American Biography, “He was the first of our sculptors to make any serious attempt to shake off the ‘real chains’ of the contemporary Italianate pseudoclassicism,

but he came too early to profit by the vigorous new naturalism taught in the French schools” (p. 124). See also the excellent discussion in Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997), chapter 2 and passim. Brown, an abolitionist, is credited with extraordinary attempts to represent slavery in public places during the antebellum era. [BACK]

28. Ward was Brown's favorite pupil. See Savage,Race, War, and Monument,chapter 3. On Ward and Symonds, see WWWC 2:277–78. Traubel reprints Symonds's letter of 1871, beginning, “When a man has ventured to dedicate his work to another without authority or permission, I think he is bound to make confession of the liberty he has taken. This must be my excuse for sending you the crude poem in which you may perchance detect some echo, faint and feeble, of your Calamus.” After linking Symonds, Ward, and his own army experience, Whitman moved on to Oscar Wilde. Wilde, he explained, “has extraordinary brilliancy of genius with perhaps rather too little root in eternal soils. Wilde gives up too much to the extrinsic decorative values in art” (WWWC 2:279). [BACK]

29. In an 1858 article entitled “The Moral Effect of the [Atlantic] Cable,” reprinted in I Sit and Look Out: Editorials from the Brooklyn Daily Times by Walt Whitman, ed. Emory Holloway and Vernolian Schwarz (New York: Columbia University Press, 1932), pp. 159–61, Whitman explained,

When Beranger, the French Poet of Freedom, wrote the great lyric of his [“La Sainte Alliance des Peuples”], calling upon the nations to “join hands” in amity and with prophetic vision told them of the day when international quarrels should cease and the lion should lie down with the lamb, he must have had some dim foresight, which for ought we know, is vouchsafed to the bards sublime, of the great triumph of man's ingenuity and skill which has just set our people wild with joy and excitement.

Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780–1857) was more than a passing enthusiasm. During the post-Civil War period, Whitman clipped four magazine articles on the French poet. See Notes and Fragments, ed. Richard Maurice Bucke (London, Ontario, Canada: 1899), p. 81. For further discussion of Whitman and Béranger, see Betsy Erkkila,Walt Whitman Among the French: Poet and Myth (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1980), pp. 32–34. She plausibly suggests that Whitman's use of the word “song” in his titles may have been influenced by Bé-ranger, and describes Whitman's early response to Béranger as “a prelude to his later and much more interesting relationship to Victor Hugo.” [BACK]

30. See Edward Carpenter, Days with Walt Whitman: With Some Notes on His Life and Work (London: G. Allen, 1906; reprint, New York: AMS Press, 1983), p. 47. [BACK]

31. There now exists a considerable literature on Whitman and painters, sculptors, architects, and photographers. See, for example, the various essays in Walt Whitman and the Visual Arts, ed. Geoffrey M. Sill and Roberta K. Tarbell (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1992), with a foreword by David S. Reynolds. Of special interest for my purposes is the essay by Ruth L. Bohan, “‘The Gathering of the Forces’: Walt Whitman and the Visual Arts in Brooklyn in the 1850s,” pp. 1–27. The volume includes a useful bibliography ranging from an 1896 essay by Edward Carpenter on “Wagner, Millet and Whitman: In Relation to Art and Democracy” through F. O. Matthiessen's American Renaissance

(1941) and on to such classics of contemporary art criticism as Elizabeth Johns, Thomas Eakins: The Heroism of Modern Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983). Whitman was nominated for president of the Brooklyn Art Union shortly before it was forced to go out of business early in 1852. The Union, like the American Art Union in New York that was its model, depended on prize-giving to stimulate membership. Admission was free, and when the state banned these art lotteries as a form of gambling, both the New York and the Brooklyn Unions folded. [BACK]

32. Edwin H. Miller suggests that “this is too disingenuous, even for Whitman.” But Whitman's focus here seems to be on the institutionalization of homosexuality in classical Greece rather than on passions as such. Miller speculates that the notebook manuscript dates from the 1860s. See Walt Whitman's Poetry: A Psychological Journey (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1968), p. 146. On Greek sexual customs, see, among other sources, David M. Halperin, One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: And Other Essays on Greek Love (New York: Routledge, 1990). On the way Greek studies operated as a “homosexual code” in England, see Linda Dowling, Hellenism and Homosexuality in Victorian Oxford (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994). I know of no comparable study for the nineteenth-century United States, but the British context may be relevant for someone as widely read in British literature as Whitman. On subsequent developments in New York City, see George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890–1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1994). I find this study invaluable for its descriptions of the public places that in effect authorized sexual contact between men. [BACK]

33. See Robert K. Martin, The Homosexual Tradition in American Poetry (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979). Martin begins with Whitman and includes such poets as Hart Crane, Fitz-Greene Halleck, Bayard Taylor, George Santayana, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Duncan, Thom Gunn, Edward Field, Richard Howard, James Merrill, and Alfred Corn. For Whitman's influence in England, see Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick's “Coda” in Between Men: English Literature and Male Homosocial Desire (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985). More generally, Whitman's influence on continental homosexual literature and consciousness has been the subject of a number of specialized studies, some of them appearing in the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. See, for example, Robert K. Martin, “Walt Whitman and Thomas Mann,” Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 4, no. 1 (summer 1986): 1–6. See also Walter Grünzweig, Constructing the German Walt Whitman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995), chapter 19 and passim. [BACK]

34. For a thorough discussion of “Pictures” as part of Whitman's dialogue with British romanticism, see Kenneth M. Price, Whitman and Tradition: The Poet in His Century (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), pp. 28–34. Price effectively critiques Grier's dating of the notebook, and I agree with his conclusion. [BACK]

35. As quoted in Allen, Solitary Singer, pp. 151–52. Allen examined a transcript of the missing original, which was made by Clifton J. Furness. Its present location is unknown. The transcript further stated that a Baptist minister presided, which is surprising given Walter Whitman Senior's freethinking religious

views during the 1820s and 1830s. But perhaps he had become more conservative in his old age, or perhaps the minister was known to someone in the family and available on short notice.

A very different funeral is described in Whitman's 1855 poem, “To Think of Time.” The burial of a forty-one-year-old stage driver who “grew lowspirited toward the last. . sickened. . [and] was helped by a contribution” is noticeably lacking in clerical presence. The driver is surrounded by friends, not family, for whom he was unambiguously “ready with life or death.” All this under “A gray discouraged sky overhead. … the short last daylight of December” (LG 1855, p. 100). [BACK]

36. For a discussion of these receipts, see Justin Kaplan, Walt Whitman: A Life (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980), pp. 160–61. [BACK]

37. Kaplan, Walt Whitman, p. 184. [BACK]

38. As quoted in Ellen M. [O'Connor] Calder, “Personal Recollections of Walt Whitman,” Atlantic Monthly 99, June 1907, 832. [BACK]

39. Walt Whitman, in Notes and Fragments, p. 116. [BACK]

40. Allen, Solitary Singer, p. 120. [BACK]

41. Whitman, however, continued to associate “brutality of utterance” with strong creators, with “the initiators and inspirers.” See his comment to Traubel about Symonds, whom he considered “always gentle” and “dangerously near the superfine in his weaker moments” (WWWC 2:276–77). [BACK]

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