Treasure Island

Walt Whitman

(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

This Dust Was Once The Man



THIS dust was once the Man,
Gentle, plain, just and resolute--under whose cautious hand,
Against the foulest crime in history known in any land or age,
Was saved the Union of These States.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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Comments about this poem (This Dust Was Once The Man by Walt Whitman )

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  • Melissa Jones (12/2/2005 11:14:00 AM)

    I totally agree with you..you are totally right about it being about slavery and Lincon saving the union. (Report) Reply

  • Cj Housh (12/2/2005 10:57:00 AM)

    Of course I'm right, and of course Cavanaugh agrees with me. Wait a minute, Cavanaugh, what are you doing here? *chases her out with a rolled up poetry book* (Report) Reply

  • Nicole Green (12/2/2005 10:55:00 AM)

    I think you're right about the slavery thing. Thanks for posting that. I hadn't thought of that but now that you say it you're right. (Report) Reply

  • Cj Housh (12/2/2005 10:53:00 AM)

    I think 'the foulest crime in history' is slavery, and that it talks about Lincoln saving the union by despatching slavery. (Report) Reply

  • Nicole Green (12/2/2005 10:46:00 AM)

    I feel that Whitman had a lot of respect for Abraham Lincoln and his success in uniting American and that this poem was dedicated to him. I think that the 'foulest crime in history' might mean the Civil War but more likely the assassination of President Lincoln. (Report) Reply

  • Cj Housh (12/2/2005 10:34:00 AM)

    Seems like another Abe Lincoln poem to me. He 'fought the foulest crime in history in any land or age' and 'saved the Union.' I think that, with reference to the first line, he is commenting about the ash being the remains of Abe Lincoln, a legend. (Report) Reply

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