UnPoetia:The First Draft of "Song of Myself"

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Shortly after discovering the long-lost introduction to Henry David Thoreau's Walden, I came upon another lost work of another notable mid-nineteenth century American sissyboy, Walt Whitman. What follows here is the first manuscript of his epic poem "Song of Myself," which he printed in all six versions of his one and only book of poetry, Leaves of Grass. What follows here is merely a transcript of Whitman's manuscript; it has not been completely fabricated in a pitiful attempt to hit upon the success of another, better, satirical article that used the exact same concept.

The First Draft of "Song of Myself"[edit]

I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
I sing myself from the tops of roofs in a loud, boisterous falsetto,
I sing myself in my poetry, which isn’t actually poetry in the traditional sense but rather a long string of run-on sentences,
I sing myself to men in the street, and to women, and to the toiling Negro of the field, and to the lovely noble Squaw,
I sing myself because I can, and because I like to,
I sing myself because no one else cares enough to sing about me, and so I sing myself instead.

Gandalf! Gandalf! Billowbiter! Gandalf! sing I to you, O reader!
Walt Whitman! Walt Whitman! Walt Whitman! sing I to my neighbor,
Comrandero! hark! do listen! I say to him,
It is I, Walt Whitman, not a man, but a Kosmos!
O! do buy a copy of Leaves of Grass, I say.
No, really, seriously, I say, I really need the money,
You see, my landlord, well, he’s been coming ‘round asking for the rent lately,
And I do not have the rent to give him,
And he came by yesterday,
And I had to tell him that I didn’t have the rent,
And out the door I went.
[ ba-nah! nah! nah-nah-nah nah-nah-nah nah! ]

So I go down the streets, down to my good friend's house,
Look man I’m outdoors, you know, can I stay with you maybe a couple days? I say,
Let me go ask my wife he says,
I could see it in his face, I know that was no,
So I go back home, and I tell the landlord that I’m going to pay the rent,
And then out the door I went.

Trippers and askers and the homeless surround me,
People I meet in the streets I now call my home pass by me,
I smell them, and compare their odor to that of myself,
And I do not compare favorably to them.
I envy them, those that smell better than I, yet also accept them and my own state,
For they are my brothers, and my sisters, and every atom belonging to them is as good as one belonging to me,
And what I assume they shall assume, in all matters that don’t involve my penis.

Walt Whitman's sketch of the infinite Negro.
The Negro toils for long hours in the fields; his work goes unnoticed and unappreciated.
He is nothing, and yet he is everything as well,
He is a Kosmos, an infinity, a magnitude beyond measure,
A big thing, a very big thing, a large rock sitting anchored at the mouth of a harbor,
A large bass caught by a lonesome fisher, its size exaggerated by the fisherman’s knack for a yarn,
A sizeable dump, like one you might take after a hefty and wholesome steak dinner, overflowing the chamberpot in which you left it,
A really big crayfish you find in a pond, one that’s almost the size a small lobster, and since it’s a crayfish it’s considered really big, but if it were a lobster you’d be all like oh well psssh it’s only a little lobster, but because it was a crayfish you thought it rather large,
A thick book of poems, one thicker even than my own Leaves of Grass,
Anyway, this Negro is really big, is the point of all this,
Not in a physical way, or in a way insinuating the size of his genitals, but in a metaphorical way,
So yeah.

Johnny’s in the basement mixing up the medicine, while I’m on the pavement thinking about the government;
The man in the trench coat—badge out, laid off—says he's got a bad cough, wants to get it paid off;
Look out, kid: it’s something you did;
God knows when, but you’re doing it again;
You better duck down the alley way looking for a new friend:
The man in the coon skin cap in the big pen wants eleven dollar bills, but you’ve only got ten.
Whitman meticulously pages through a manuscript. The large writing is due to Whitman's poor eyesight in his later life.

Twenty-eight young men bathe by the shore,
Twenty-eight young men and all so friendly,
Twenty-eight young men touch each other sensually;
Years of longing he cannot hold in any longer.
He does not own a fine house or clothes,
He does not need them: not here, not now.
He undresses the homely one, while standing still idle,
He reaches around, and underneath,
He works invisible, the rest did not see him,
They would not have wanted to.

It was twenty years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play;
They've been going in and out of style, but they're guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you, the act you've known for all these years:
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band!

The prostitute works the harem well, her expertise not going unappreciated;
The King sits loft upon a throne, and sits, and wonders what affairs he will see to today;
The cricket sits stoic, its only action being the incessant and annoying chirp it continues to produce;
The squirrel is a ball of action, and runs to and fro in haste, trying, perhaps vainly, to store all its nuts before the onset of dreary winter;
The tea drinker sits idle on a chair, and he sits, and he drinks tea in his mornings;
The coffee drinker sits idle on a chair, and he sits, and he drinks coffee in his mornings;
The man awoke in the morning, and got up, and went about his business, doing typical, manly things;
The woman awoke in the morning, and got up, and went about her business, doing typical, womanly things;
The reader read on, annoyed, at the constant and needless repetition and reiteration of simple juxtapositions;
The poet wrote on, encouraged, not deterred in the least at the negative reception his constant reiteration of simple juxtapositions garnered.

This refers to the end of the article, of course, and not anything else....
The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on;
He took a face from the ancient gallery, and he walked on down the hall;
He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he…
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he…
He walked on down the hall, and…
And he came to a door...and he looked inside…
Yes son?
I want to kill you.
I want to...

C'mon, baby, take a chance with us...
And meet me in the back of the Blue Bus tonight...
Blue Bus tonight...
Blue Bus...

I am not bothered by the fact that no one listens;
Nor am I bothered by the fact no one cares that I sing, for singing myself comes naturally to me.
All my poetry comes natural to me.
Even now, I’m only sitting down, at my desk, writing the first thoughts that come to mind;
I scribe them as I sing them, my pen furiously a-flutter, while I wait for you to buy my book.
~ Walt Whitman

Post Script[edit]

Walt Whitman, while not as big a douche as Henry David Thoreau, is still really lame. By ignoring his work entirely, he will hopefully fade gradually into the pages of history and be forever forgotten.

Edward Guildensternenstein is an freelance historian who specializes in the Transcendental movement, and notable American sissies.