Tuesday, May 6, 2008

"Beat! Beat! Drums!" Periodical Printing Updated

Whitman's Poems in Periodicals now features the Harper's Weekly printing of "Beat! Beat! Drums!" as the poem's first publication. I have taken down the Boston Daily Evening Transcript printing, revised the Harper's Weekly headnote, and revised the transcription of the poem according to the Harper's Weekly printing. A page image of the poem is forthcoming. The publication information following the transcription now includes the following note, in explanation of the change:

Publication Information
"Beat! Beat! Drums!."  Harper's Weekly  5 (28 September 1861):  623.  Although dated 28 September 1861, the issue of Harper's Weekly featuring Whitman's "Beat! Beat! Drums!" actually appeared one week earlier, on 21 September 1861. (See Sculley Bradley and Harold W. Blodgett, ed., Leaves of Grass: A Norton Critical Edition [New York: W. W. Norton, 1973] and Ted Genoways, Walt Whitman and the Civil War: America's Poet During the Lost Years of 1860–1862 [Berkeley: University of California Press, forthcoming].) The poem appeared on the same day in the weekly newspaper the New York Leader, also dated 28 September 1861. The poem was reprinted in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle on 23 September 1861 and the Boston Daily Evening Transcript on 24 September 1861. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle printing includes the attribution, "From Harper's Weekly." In the following weeks, the poem appeared in numerous other newspapers throughout the United States. Whitman included the poem, with slight revision, in Drum-Taps (1865).


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