Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Pinterest Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video
  • Handwritten Walt Whitman poem makes $25,000
  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • americanbonhamsbookcopyhourmanuscriptoriginallypoemsignsteinbecktexttopicswhitmanwritewriter

Handwritten Walt Whitman poem makes $25,000

A short, handwritten poem by the great American writer Walt Whitman (1819-1892) has sold for $25,000 at Bonhams.

The piece is believed to date to around 1890, when Whitman was in his early 70s, and was clearly thinking of the end.

Walt Whitman poem

Whitman probably wrote this poem in 1890 

The text opens with Whitman explaining his intention to write an “autumnal” poem “on the theme of that hour - on Death."

He then writes: "perhaps / a life of stout toil is over with / over the past not God himself has Power / For what has been has been and I have had my hour."

Whitman’s influence on world literature has been enormous.

His most famous work is Leaves of Grass (1855), a wildly exuberant collection of poems that celebrate sex and sensual pleasure.

Few writers were brave enough to tackle these topics in Whitman’s day.

Today he’s considered one of the most important of all American poets.

Meanwhile, a signed first edition copy of John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939) realised $20,000.

This was a particularly good copy of this classic American novel.

The record remains $47,800, set in 2007 for a copy that originally belonged to Steinbeck’s sister.

We have a great selection of books and manuscripts for sale.

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about book and manuscript auctions.

  • Post author
    Will Davison
  • americanbonhamsbookcopyhourmanuscriptoriginallypoemsignsteinbecktexttopicswhitmanwritewriter