Thanks Cadia. I do have other information. I'll sketch it out, as it differs a
bit from what you say about the origins of Vagabond's House. It's still up for
some interpretation. The future editions of Leaves of Grass changed. I don't
how many editions there were of Leaves from a Grass House but I do have #6,8&9.
I'm quite interested in the early Star Bulletin columns, especially the one
about Putnam . I'll sketch out my version and post it tomorrow. tj
From: Cadia <duchess@...
Sent: Fri, August 3, 2012 12:17:41 PM
Subject: [aloha-donblanding] Re: Origins of Vagabond's House Poem
I recall a brief item in the Star-Bulletin (maybe 1926 or 1927) about a book of
DB's poems to be published on the mainland. Not sure it was to be titled
Vagabond's House, but George Putnam's name was mentioned. I have not yet
indexed these 2 years but I'll try to locate the article sometime this weekend.
Vagabond's House (the poem) was never published in the Star-Bulletin; it is far
too long. I have read ALL of 1917-1928 with a few exceptions. Keith read 1922
and part of 1924 and sent me copies; neither of us could get microfilm for May
1923 (we tried several times). I'll be at the Hawaii State Library in Honolulu
next week and will make one last try to find that missing month.
The poem is said to have evolved from the Aji-No-Moto ads, but having collected
almost all of those ads from 1922-23 I can honestly say that except for the
reference to spices and condiments, there is no direct connection. However,
these ads were DB's first at writing verse for publication; no doubt the
popularity of the ads encouraged him to do more writing. Remember, he was an
artist, not a writer; the ad-writing assignment was by pure chance.
In September 2006, there was a typewritten version of Vagabond's House for sale
on eBay. (I did not win it.) The title was "Vagabond House" and I think there
were slightly fewer verses and in different order than the finished poem. I
made comparisons at the time but did not take notes or, if I did, I can't find
them. The typescript was undated and may or may not have been from DB's
typewriter. I saved images from that auction, but only one is large enough to
be readable; all the others are the size of a postage stamp! I'll try to upload
the single image here.
One could say that the first publication of the poem Vagabond's House was in
Leaves From a Grass House (1923). This version begins with the ttitle "Some
Lines Scrawled on the Door of Aloha House" and continues as "Aloha House."
Combined, there are 10 segments; most of the lines found their way into the
final version published in 1928 by Dodd, Mead & Co.
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