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Most likely, “Going Somewhere,” is a poem dedicated to Anne Gilchrist. Walt Whitman and Anne Gilchrist were noted to have a quite strong camaraderie for each other. Anne Gilchrist was an English writer who traveled to the United States to meet Walt Whitman. She was completely moved wholeheartedly by Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass.”

Here is a transcription from Walt Whitman to Anne Gilchrist:

As you can see, there is quite a lot of strong feelings toward one another.


Also, Walt Whitman has never known a woman “more perfect in every relation, than [his] dear, dear friend, Anne Gilchrist.” Further on in the article, Walt Whitman is found to dedicate this poem to her.

Anne Gilchrist had been quite fascinated by Whitman’s poems, but particularly, “Children of Adam.” In the collection, Whitman stresses the beauties and magnificent works of the human body and the metaphysics of life. We can see this emphasis in “Going Somewhere” where Whitman and Gilchrist exchanges conversation pertaining to “all Geologies–Histories–of all Astronomy– of Evolution, Metaphysics all” and that Anne Gilchrist, Whitman’s “science-friend,” whom has passed away, will too, not be wasted after death, but as life is “an endless march, an endless army,” she too, will be “surely going somewhere” even after death. Again, I see the connection of the theme of circle of life or the continuity of life after death as we have seen in his previous poem, “Continuities.”

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My science-friend, my noblest woman-friend,
(Now buried in an English grave and this a memory-leaf for
her dear sake,)
Ended our talk The sum, concluding all we know of old or
modern learning, intuitions deep,
Of all Geologies Histories of all Astronomy of Evolution,
Metaphysics all,
Is, that we all are onward, onward, speeding slowly, surely
Life, life an endless march, an endless army, (no halt, but it is
duly over,)
The world, the race, the soul in space and time the universes,
All bound as is befitting each all surely going somewhere.

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From the 1867 edition L. of G.