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Ralph Waldo Emerson praises Walt Whitman's seminal work 'Leaves of Grass'...



Item # 631308

October 10, 1855

NEW YORK DAILY TRIBUNE, October 10, 1855  Page 7 has a very significant & timely article headed: "Leaves Of Grass", concerning this seminal work of famed poet Walt Whitman in which he celebrated his philosophy of life and humanity. Although considered highly controversial during his era, in time the collection has infiltrated popular culture & been recognized as one of the central works of American poetry.
This article mentions in part: "...call the attention of our readers to this original & striking collection of poems, by Mr. Whitman...could not avoid noticing certain faults which seemed to us to be prominent in the work. The following opinion, from a distinguished source, views the matter from a more positive and less critical stand-point:..." and what follows is the famous letter by Ralph Waldo Emerson--who inspired this work by Whitman--in which he comments: "...I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom America has yet contributed...I am very happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy..." and even more, signed in type: R. W. Emerson. This original letter is in the Library of Congress.
This letter's appearance in the Tribune would seem to be the only newspaper printing of the time, as records indicate that the: "...letter to Whitman from Ralph Waldo Emerson, 21 July, 1855 is among the most famous letters ever written to an aspiring writer...Without asking Emerson's permission, Whitman gave this private letter to Charles Dana [managing editor of the New York Tribune] for publication in the New York Tribune on October, 1855." (see this hyperlink).
An extremely significant report in the world of poetry. Complete in 8 pages, very minor disbinding loss affects two words in the Emerson letter (see), very nice condition.

Category: Pre-Civil War

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