“Anna’s Book Afternoon”

As promised I said I would return to talk about a special Walt Whitman Book.  Its later than I thought, I had to have my 6 monthly  Heart Check-up at the Doctor’s this morning.  One or two problems I did not expect, and I have to go back tomorrow morning, but here we are now and to that Book.

It is very old and for its age well looked after, it was obviously well loved.  As I said previously it is  –  Walt Whitman’s Workshop  A Collection of Unpublished Manuscripts.  It is Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Clifton Joseph Furness.   Cambridge: Harvard University Press.    1928, making it 90 years old next year.   It is a Limited Edition of 750 copies.  The paper used is what I was told a long time ago was referred to as Indian Paper, it is rough edged.

The sixth page in the following is printed.

“Make The Works”     Whitman’s motto that he kept at his work-table.

The Workshop  .  .  .

The paper I write on or you

write on, every word we write,

every cross and twirl of the

pen, and the curious way we

write we think, yet very

faintly  .  .  .

In them realities for you and

me  –  in them poems for you

and me  .  .  .

In them themes, hints, provokers.

From “Chants Democratic” (1860)


The pages of the lesson having writ to train

myself  –  –  to you I bring them here and now

resign with all their blots, to image back the

process for your use.

From MS. of unpublished Preface by Walt Whitman.


There are many Photographs of Walt Whitman within the book, along with photographs of handwritten Manuscripts, he appeared to have such lovely flowing handwriting.  Pages on Notes for Lectures.  Notes for Lectures on Literature.  Anti Slavery Notes.  Pages 98 – 99 seemed to have been well read, the spine being folded the subject The Eighteenth Presidency.



Introductions Intended for American Editions of “Leaves of Grass”

Certainly one of the permanently interesting stories of lost manuscripts is that connected with the disappearance and final recovery of the seven separate notebooks in which Whitman worked over the material for introductions to future editions of Leaves of Grass.  All the work on them was done at intervals between the appearance of the first edition of the Leaves, in 1855, and the date of his fifty-first birthday (May 31, 1870), which is the last date recorded in the manuscripts.  He attached throughout his life a certain epochal significance to his birthday, and he seems to have gone through a sort of  self-imposed ritual on that day of every year.   One important feature of this observance was a mental summary of his life’s work, as accomplished so far, with a projection of possible plans for the future.  The record of these birthday reviews and panoramic musings he often committed to paper, with the date of their composition, and some of the entries in these manuscripts were composed in this way.  Here we have a series of closely dovetailing documents dealing with the most intimate concern of Whitman’s life, the conception and progressive execution and rounding out of his full scheme of poetic utterance.  The manuscripts as they stand are the result of many years of reflection and revision.  Their composition dates from the period of the poet’s prime activity, the time when the greater bulk of the poems which brought him enduring fame were being conceived, drafted, revised.

For safe keeping, Whitman fastened these notes, bound as separate booklets, into his own copy of the first edition of Leaves of Grass.



This is just a taste from the book I have, a absolutely fascinating book.  To see his handwriting, albeit photos, for me is exciting.  People rarely write these days and books like these should be treasured.  I love to see the handwriting of people, you can tell an awful lot from one’s handwriting.

This book also gives me an insight into another Poet that I much admire and love, the similarities in the way that, well the way they thought about little things although large to them fascinates me, explains a lot.

As I say this is a very special book that my eldest Son would one day like from me, I would not by any means say I am a hoarder but I do like to collect “special things” things that not only have a special meaning to me but things of significance.  This as you may recall from yesterday was purchased for me, by my youngest Son from an Auction from the Private Collection of a late much loved Poet, much vilified – similar to Walt Whitman the vilification he received in his days, he was far “too modern, too romantic” for that period.  What they actually are saying is these people are very forward, honest in their thinking and writing.  Which I admire immensely.  Honesty in writing or even verbal is not liked or wanted by some, I have always been as honest as I can I can’t be any other way, and it saddens me if some find my “honesty” too much, this is me.

That is why I admire those that write that are so honest, you either like the way they write or don’t.  To vilify someone in the way that some have been treated to me is appalling, personal abuse is not called for, whether it be a Poet, a Storyteller, or even as we are witnessing now the pathetic personal abuse being thrown at a President Elect.  –  My view.

I keep this beautiful Book well protected in an extremely old Chest that belonged to the Poet who died nearly two years ago.  I have many, many interesting books/plays/all sorts that I was fortunate in having a generous Son purchase for me, most are still in large boxes awaiting more space.   More of all of them later perhaps.

I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the mind of a Great Poet, now justly admired.  Such a shame that they have to wait for Death and the years to pass before Men like Walt Whitman receive all the praise they rightly deserve.

Thanks for looking in, take care  –  Anna.





21 thoughts on ““Anna’s Book Afternoon”

    1. Thank you Angela, very sweet of you. I have Heart Failure, got diagnosed 4/5 years ago now, bit of a shock then. My Blood Pressure was high this morning and my heart rate was not what they expected, had ECG. They were bit concerned as to what caused it. I feel ok, how are you and your Family, enjoying all that beautiful furniture I hope. Thanks again Angela for asking, I appreciate that.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rob, I got asked this morning at the surgery (after the ECG) which does not give one confidence, “I have to ask you this Hannah, where do you prefer to die Hospital or Home” – the obvious answer forthcoming was “home”. I have two official names Hannah, Anna – Anna, Hannah – when I was Baptised my Mother could not agree with my Father, so the Priest entered both on the Baptismal Certificate. My Passport reads more or less the same. Crazy, indeed!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No I’m not upset about it Rob, its just one of those things, and I would rather they knew where I would like to die. Its just that they were a bit concerned this morning that Blood pressure and Heart Rate were not what they expected. As for my name, I have always loved both, a few people over the years have preferred to call me Hanna, but generally its Anna, either suits me.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. what’s this? Have I missed something – blogs from you? I know I am quite behind in some blogs, but I always look out for yours to answer, so sorry Rob if I have missed them. Am I going to be pleased or shocked, this little English woman (and I mean little, they measured me this morning and because of my spine probs more height loss so that does upset me)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Sunday, been in a lot of pain – that fall I had was it Tuesday whilst ironing really caused me some pain, when I landed on my bottom I actually landed on the coxite` and as I have a severe curvature of the spine with a piece of my tail bone protruding (sorry not very nice) it has really been very difficult to sit. Told by Surgery “no idea how long it will take to get better”. Are you alright Rob, sorry should have been in touch, Thursday, or was it Friday, spent most of the day in bed.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Whoa sorry to hear that about your results, reads like your facing up to it well. good on you.
    On the book, definitely interesting, but truthfully I don’t think I could really get into it. Now that book on Haiku, that’s another poem, oops, story. I haven’t missed anything, have I, re that book?

    Take cake,,


    Liked by 2 people

      1. I went straight to your, (I think) most recent post. I usually scroll from the bottom up, so I thought maybe I might of missed something on the Haiku book. Not being lazy it was what came up first and being your book post I read it.


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