Walt Whitman



Literatur: Whitman
Literatur: The Saturday Press
Literatur: Whitman-Rezeption


                        A Child's Reminiscence.


5                           PRE-VERSE

Out of the rocked cradle,
Out of the mocking-bird's throat, the musical shuttle,
Out of the boy's mother's womb, and from the nipples of her breasts,
Out of the Ninth-Month midnight,
Over the sterile sea-sands, and the fields beyond, where the child, leaving his bed, wandered alone, bare-headed,
10   Down from the showered halo and the moonbeams,
Up from the mystic play of shadows twining and twisting as if they were alive,
Out from the patches of briars and blackberries,
From the memories of the bird that chanted to me;
From your memories, sad brother – from the fitful risings and fallings I heard,
15   From that night, infantile, under the yellow half-moon, late-risen, and swollen as if with tears,
From those beginning notes of sickness and love, there in the mist,
From the thousand responses in my heart, never to cease,
From the myriad thence-aroused words,
From the word stronger and more delicious than any,
20   From such, as now they start, the scene revisiting,
As a flock, twittering, rising, or overhead passing,
Borne hither   ere all eludes me, hurriedly,
A man   yet by these tears a little boy again,
Throwing myself on the sand, I,
25   Confronting the waves, sing.



Once, Paumonok,
Up this sea-shore, in some briars,
Two guests from Alabama   two together,
And their nest, and four light-green eggs, spotted with brown,
30   And every day the he-bird, to and fro, near at hand,
And every day the she-bird, crouched on her nest, silent, with bright eyes,
And every day I, a curious boy, never too close, never disturbing them,
Cautiously peering, absorbing, translating.


Shine!   Shine!
35   Pour down your warmth, Summer sun!
We bask   we two together


Two together!
Winds blow South, or winds blow North,
Day come white, or night come black,
40   Home, or rivers and mountains from home,
Singing all time, minding no time,
If we two but keep together


Till all of a sudden,
May-be killed, unknown to her mate
45   One forenoon the she-bird crouched not on the nest,
Nor returned that day or night, nor the next,
Nor ever appeared again


And thenceforward, all that Spring,
And all that Summer, in the sound of the sea
50   And at night, under the full of the moon, in calmer weather,
Over the hoarse surging of the sea,
Or flitting from briar to briar by day,
I saw, I heard at intervals the remaining one, the he-bird,
The solitary guest from Alabama.


Blow!   Blow!
Blow up sea-winds along Paumanok's shore!
I wait and I wait,
Till you blow my mate to me


Yes, when the stars glistened,
60   All night long, on the prong of a moss-scallop'd stake,
Down, close by the shore, almost amid the slapping waves,
Sat the lone singer, wonderful, causing tears.


He called on his mate,
He poured forth the meanings which now I, of all men, know.


Yes, my brother, I know,
The rest might not   but I have treasured every note,
For every night, dimly, down to the beach gliding,
Silent, avoiding the moonbeams, blending myself with the shadows,
Recalling now the obscure shapes, the echoes, the sounds and sights after their sort,
70   The white arms out in the breakers tirelessly tossing,
I, with bare feet, a child, the wind wafting my hair,
Listened long and long.


Which now I too sing,
Repeating, translating the notes,
75   Following you, my brother.


Soothe!   Soothe!
Close on its wave soothes the wave behind,
And again another behind, embracing and lapping, every one close.
But my love soothes not me


Low hangs the moon – it rose late,
O it is lagging – O I think it is heavy with love


O madly the sea pushes upon the land,
With love – with love


O night!
85   O do I not see my love fluttering out there among the breakers?
What is that little black thing I see there in the white?


Loud!   Loud!
Loud I call to you my love!
High and clear I shoot my voice over the waves
90   Surely you must know who is here,
You must know who I am, my love.


Low-hanging moon!
What is that dusky spot in your brown yellow?
O it is the shape of my mate!
95   O moon do not keep her from me any longer:


Land!   O land!
Whichever way I turn, O I think you could give me my mate back again, if you would,
For I am almost sure I see her dimly whichever way I look.


O rising stars!
100   Perhaps the one I want so much will rise with some of you.


O throat!
Sound clearer through the atmosphere!
Pierce the woods – the earth,
Somewhere listening to catch you must be the one I want


Shake out, carols!
Solitary here – the night's carols!
Carols of lonesome love!   Death's carols!
Carols under that lagging, yellow, waning moon!
O, under that moon, where she droops almost down into the sea!
110   O reckless, despairing carols!


But soft!
Sink low – soft!
Soft!   Let me just murmur,
And do you hush and wait a moment, you sea
115   For somewhere I believe I heard my mate responding to me,
So faint – I must be still to listen,
But not altogether still, for then she might not come immediately to me


Hither, my love!
Here I am!   Here!
120   With this just-sustained note I announce myself to you,
This gentle call is for you, my love.


Do not be decoyed elsewhere!
That is the whistle of the wind – it is not my voice,
That is the flutering of the spray,
125   Those are the shadows of leaves.


O darkness!   O in vain!
O I am very sick and sorrowful!


O brown halo in the sky, near the moon, drooping upon the sea!
O troubled reflection in the sea!
130   O throat!   O throbbing heart!
O all – and I singing uselessly all the night.


Murmur!   Murmur on!
O murmurs – you yourselves make me continue to sing, I know not why


O past!   O joy!
135   In the air – in the woods – over fields,
Loved!   Loved!   Loved!   Loved!   Loved!
Loved – but no more with me,
We two together no more.


The aria sinking,
140   All else continuing – the stars shining,
The winds blowing – the notes of the wondrous bird echoing,
With angry moans the fierce old mother yet, as ever, incessantly moaning,
On the sands of Paumanok's shore gray and rustling,
The yellow half-moon, enlarged, sagging down, drooping, the face of the sea almost touching,
145   The boy ecstatic – with his bare feet the waves, with his hair the atmosphere dallying,
The love in the heart pent, now loose, now at last tumultuously bursting,
The aria's meaning the ears, the soul, swiftly depositing,
The strange tears down the cheeks coursing,
The colloquy there – the trio – each uttering,
150   The undertone – the savage old mother, incessantly crying,
To the boy's soul's questions sullenly timing – some drowned secret hissing,
To the outsetting bard of love.


Bird! (said the boy's soul),
Is it indeed toward your mate you sing?   Or is it mostly to me?
155   For I that was a child, my tongue's use sleeping,
Now that I have heard you,
Now in a moment I know what I am for – I awake,
And already a thousand singers – a thousand songs, clearer, louder, more sorrowful than yours,
A thousand warbling echoes have started to life within me,
160   Never to die.


O throes!
O you demon, singing by yourself!  Projecting me!
O solitary me, listening – never more shall I cease imitating, perpetuating you,
Never more shall I escape,
165   Never more shal the reverberations,
Never more the cries of unsatisfied love be absent from me,
Never again leave me to be the peaceful child I was before what there, in the night,
By the sea, under the yellow and sagging moon,
The dusky demon aroused, the fire, the sweet hell within,
170   The unknown want, the destiny of me.


O give me some clue!
O if I am to have so much, let me have more!
O a word!  O what is my destination?
O I fear it is henceforth chaos!
175   O how joys, dreads, convolutions, human shapes, and all shapes, spring as from graves around me!
O phantoms!   You cover all the land and all the sea!
O I cannot see in the dimness whether you smile or frown upon me!
O vapor, a look, a word!   O well-beloved!
O you dear women's and men's phantoms!


A word then,
The word final, superior to all,
Subtle, sent up – what is it? – I listen;
Are you whispering it, and have been all the time, you sea-waves?
Is that it from your liquid rims and wet sands?


Answering, the sea,
Delaying not, hurrying not,
Whispered me through the night, and very plainly before daybreak,
Lisped to me constantly the low and delicious word Death,
And again Death – ever Death. Death, Death,
190   Hissing melodious, neither like the bird, nor like my aroused child's heart,
But edging near, as privately for me, rustling at my feet,
And creeping thence steadily up to my ears,
Death, Death, Death, Death, Death.


Which I do not forget
195   But fuse the song of Two Together,
That was sung to me in the moonlight on Paumanok's gray beach,
With the thousand responsive songs, at random,
My own songs, awaked from that hour,
And with them the key, the word of the sweetest song, and all songs,
  That strong and delicious word which, creeping to my feet,
The sea whispered me.





Erstdruck und Druckvorlage

The New-York Saturday Press.
Bd. 2, 1859, Nr. 52, Dezember, S. *1.

Gezeichnet: Walt Whitman.

Die Textwiedergabe erfolgt nach dem ersten Druck (Editionsrichtlinien).

Redaktionsnotiz (S. *2)
     Our readers may, if they choose, consider as our Christmas or New Year's present to them, the curious warble, by Walt Whitman, of "A Child's Reminiscence" on our First Page. Like the "Leaves of Grass," the purport of this wild and plaintive song, well-enveloped, and eluding definition, is positive and unquestionable, like the effect of music.
      The piece will bear reading many times – perhaps, indeed only comes forth, as from recesses, by many repetitions.

The Saturday Press   online
URL: https://pfaffs.web.lehigh.edu/node/54193





Aufgenommen in






White, William: Walt Whitman's Journalism. A Bibliography.
Detroit 1969.

Myerson, Joel: Walt Whitman. A Descriptive Bibliography.
Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press 1993.

Editorials and Journalistic Articles.
The Walt Whitman Archive.
URL: https://whitmanarchive.org/published/periodical/journalism/index.html

The Walt Whitman Archive.
Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, and Kenneth M. Price, Editors.
URL: https://whitmanarchive.org/

Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass.
Brooklyn, New York 1855.
S. III-XII: [Vorwort].
URL: https://books.google.de/books?id=9U1gZi-O3dEC
URL: http://www.whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1855/images/index.html
URL: http://whitmanarchive.org/published/LG/1855/whole.html

Whitman, Walt: Walt Whitman and His Poems.
In: The United States Review.
Bd. 5, 1855, September, S. 205-212.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006057389
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/006903900

Whitman, Walt: An English and an American Poet.
In: The American Phrenological Journal.
A Repository of Science, Literature, General Intelligence.
Bd. 22, 1855, Nr. 4, Oktober, S. 90-91.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009663235

Whitman, Walt: A Child's Reminiscence.
In: The New-York Saturday Press.
Bd. 2, 1859, Nr. 52, Dezember, S. *1.
URL: https://pfaffs.web.lehigh.edu/node/54193

Whitman, Walt: The Poetry of the Future.
In: The North American Review.
Bd. 132, 1881, Nr. 291, Februar, S. 195-210.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/004528837
URL: https://www.unz.com/print/NorthAmericanRev/

Whitman, Walt: A Memorandum at a Venture.
In: The North American Review.
Bd. 134, 1882, Nr. 307, Juni, S. 546-551.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/004528837
URL: https://www.unz.com/print/NorthAmericanRev/

Whitman, Walt: Robert Burns as Poet and Person.
In: The North American Review.
Bd. 143, 1886, Nr. 360, November, S. 427-435.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/004528837
URL: https://www.unz.com/print/NorthAmericanRev/

Whitman, Walt: A Word about Tennyson.
In: The Critic.
1887, Nr. 157, 1. Januar, S. 1-2.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000057828

Whitman, Walt: A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads.
In: Ders;, November Boughs.
Philadelphia: David McKay 1888, S. 5-18.
PURL: https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc2.ark:/13960/t05x25j6j
URL: https://archive.org/details/novemberboughs00whitrich

Whitman, Walt: Old Poets.
In: The North American Review.
Bd. 151, 1890, Nr. 408, November, S. 610-615.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/004528837
URL: https://www.unz.com/print/NorthAmericanRev/

Whitman, Walt: Have We a National Literature?
In: The North American Review.
Bd. 152, 1891, Nr. 412, März, S. 332-338.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/004528837
URL: https://www.unz.com/print/NorthAmericanRev/

Whitman, Walt: Grashalme.
Eine Auswahl. Übersetzt von Karl Federn.
Minden i. Westf.: Bruns [1904].
PURL: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:hbz:6:1-141652

Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass and Other Writings.
Authoritative Texts, Prefaces, Whitman on his Art, Criticism.
Hrsg. von Michael Moon.
New York: Norton 2001.

Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass. The First (1855) Edition.
Introduction by Harold Bloom.
New York u.a.: Penguin Books 2005 (= Penguin Classics).

Whitman, Walt: Grasblätter.
Nach der Ausg. von 1891-92
erstmals vollständig übertragen und herausgegeben von Jürgen Brôcan.
München: Hanser 2009.

Whitman, Walt: Grashalme.
In Auswahl übertragen von Johannes Schlaf.
Stuttgart: Reclam 2013 (= Universal-Bibliothek, 4891).
zuerst 1907.

Noverr, Douglas A. u.a. (Hrsg.): Walt Whitman's Selected Journalism.
Iowa City: University of Iowa Press 2014.

Whitman, Walt: Feuilles d'Herbe.
Introduction et notes de Roger Asselineau, traduit par Roger Asselineau, illustrations de Margaret C. Cook.
Paris: les Belles Lettres 2021.




Literatur: Whitman

Belasco, Susan: From the Field: Walt Whitman's Periodical Poetry. In: American Periodicals. 14.2 (2004), S. 247-259.

Brandmeyer, Rudolf: Poetologische Lyrik. In: Handbuch Lyrik. Theorie, Analyse, Geschichte. Hrsg. von Dieter Lamping. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart 2016, S. 164-168.

Gymnich, Marion / Müller-Zettelmann, Eva: Metalyrik: Gattungsspezifische Besonderheiten, Formenspektrum und zentrale Funktionen. In: Metaisierung in Literatur und anderen Medien. Theoretische Grundlagen – Historische Perspektiven – Metagattungen – Funktionen. Hrsg. von Janine Hauthal u.a. Berlin u.a. 2007 (= spectrum Literaturwissenschaft / spectrum Literature, 12), S. 65-91.

Hanlon, Christopher: Whitman's Atlantic Noise. In: Nineteenth-Century Literature 70.2 (2015), S. 194-220.

Helsinger, Elizabeth K.: Poetry and the Thought of Song in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Charlottesville u. London 2015.

Michael, John: Secular Lyric. The Modernization of the Poem in Poe, Whitman and Dickinson. New York 2018.

Nelson, Howard: "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking". In: A Companion to Walt Whitman. Hrsg. von Donald D. Kummings. Malden, Mass. u.a. 2006, S. 496-507.

Price, Kenneth M. / Schöberlein, Stefan (Hrsg.): The Oxford Handbook of Walt Whitman. Oxford 2024.

Renner, Ursula: "Das schöne Gedicht auf den Vogel...". Anmerkungen zu Hofmannsthals Rezeption Walt Whitmans. In: Hofmannsthal-Blätter 33 (1986), S. 3-25.

Spitzer, Leo: Explication de Texte Applied to Walt Whitman's Poem "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking". In: Journal of English Literary History 16 (1949), S. 229-249.

Tomiche, Anne: Métamorphoses du lyrisme. Philomèle, le rossignol et la modernité occidentale. Paris 2010 (= Collection "Perspectives comparatistes").



Literatur: The Saturday Press

Eckstrom, Leif: On Puffing: The Saturday Press and the Circulation of Symbolic Capital. In: Hrsg. von Joanna Levin u. Edward Whitley. Iowa City, IA 2014, S. 53-74.

Satelmajer, Ingrid: Publishing Pfaff's: Henry Clapp and Poetry in the Saturday Press. In: Hrsg. von Joanna Levin u. Edward Whitley. Iowa City, IA 2014, S. 37-52.

Edward Whitley; Rob Weidman; et al. "The Saturday Press". The Vault at Pfaff's. An Archive of Art and Literature by New York City's Nineteenth-Century Bohemians. Lehigh University.
URL: https://pfaffs.web.lehigh.edu/node/54193



Literatur: Whitman-Rezeption

Allen, Gay Wilson / Folsom, Ed (Hrsg.): Walt Whitman & the World. Iowa City, IA 1995.

Asselineau, Roger: The Acclimatization of Leaves of Grass in France. In: Utopia in the Present Tense. Walt Whitman and the Language of the New World. Hrsg. von Marina Camboni. Rom 1994, S. 237-263.

Athenot, Éric: 1886, année vers-libriste. Laforgue, traducteur de Walt Whitman. In: L'Appel de l'étranger. Traduire en langue française en 1886 (Belgique, France, Québec, Suisse). Hrsg. von Sylvie Humbert-Mougin u.a. Tours 2015, S. 107-123.

Bamberg, Claudia: Einströmende Dinge. Hugo von Hofmannsthal und Hermann Bahr als Leser des amerikanischen Lyrikers Walt Whitman. In: Literaturkritik.de. Nr. 7, Juli 2013, S. 16-22.
URL: https://literaturkritik.de/id/18117

Bennett, Guy / Mousli, Béatrice: Poésies des deux mondes. Un dialogue franco-américain à travers les revues, 1850 – 2004. Paris 2004.

Blodgett, Harold: Walt Whitman in England. Ithaca, N.Y. 1934.
URL: https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003569654

Bloom, Harold (Hrsg.): Walt Whitman. New York 2008 (Bloom's Classic Critical Views).

Cosentino, Vincent J.: Walt Whitman und die deutsche Literaturrevolution. Eine Untersuchung über Whitmans Einfluß auf die deutsche Dichtung seit Arno Holz. Diss. München 1968.

Eilert, Heide: "Komet der neuen Zeit". Zur Rezeption Walt Whitmans in der deutschen Literatur des 20. Jahrhunderts. In: Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der deutschen Literatur 17.2 (1992), S. 95-109.

Erkkilä, Betsy: Walt Whitman Among the French. Poet and Myth. Princeton, NJ 1980
S. 239-250: Chronological List of French Criticism of Whitman since 1861.

Erkkilä, Betsy: "To Paris with my Love": Whitman Among the French Revisited. In: Revue française d'études américaines 108 (2006), S. 7-22.

Ferreira, Carla S.: Seeing through French eyes. Vers libre in Whitman, Laforgue, and Eliot. In: The Cambridge Quarterly 45.1 (2016), S. 20-41.
URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/camqtly/bfv038

Grünzweig, Walter: Walt Whitmann. Die deutschsprachige Rezeption als interkulturelles Phänomen. München 1991.

Grünzweig, Walter: Constructing the German Walt Whitman. Iowa City IA. 1995.

Harris, Kirsten: Walt Whitman and British Socialism. 'The Love of Comrades'. New York 2016.

Higgins, Andrew C.: The Poet's Reception and Legacy. In: A Companion to Walt Whitman. Hrsg. von Donald D. Kummings. Oxford 2009, S. 439-454.

Hindus, Milton (Hrsg.): Walt Whitman. The Critical Heritage. London 1971.

Miller, Angela: The Twentieth-Century Artistic Reception of Whitman and Melville. In: Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present. Hrsg. von David H. Blake u.a. Iowa City, IA 2008, S. 106-126.

Newcomb, John T.: Would Poetry Disappear? American Verse and the Crisis of Modernity. Columbus, Ohio 2004.

Price, Kenneth M. (Hrsg.): Walt Whitman. The Contemporary Reviews. Cambridge 1996.

Pucciani, Oreste F.: The Literary Reputation of Walt Whitman in France. New York u.a. 1987.

Rumeau, Delphine: Fortunes de Walt Whitman. Enjeux d’une réception transatlantique. Paris 2019.

Schaper, Monika: Walt Whitmans "Leaves of Grass" in deutschen Übersetzungen. Eine rezeptionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung. Frankfurt a.M. 1976 (= Studien und Texte zur Amerikanistik, 4).

Thomas, M. Wynn: Transatlantic Connections. Whitman U.S., Whitman U.K. Iowa City, IA 2005.



Lyriktheorie » R. Brandmeyer