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Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Leaves of Grass. 1900.

7. When I read the Book

WHEN I read the book, the biography famous,

And is this, then, (said I,) what the author calls a man’s life?

And so will some one, when I am dead and gone, write my life?

(As if any man really knew aught of my life;

Why, even I myself, I often think, know little or nothing of my real life;

Only a few hints—a few diffused, faint clues and indirections,

I seek, for my own use, to trace out here.)