Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"I greet you..."

This letter from Ralph Waldo Emerson to an aspiring unknown poet, Walt Whitman, really speaks to me. Great penmanship.


  1. Two dying arts: letters and handwriting. Oh, it makes me sad. I love mail! This is nice and scrawly.

  2. What does it say? it's hard to read, but the bits that are readable are alluring. Does he say: " I find it the most entertaining piece of wit & disdain that America has yet contributed." ?

  3. Transcript

    21 July

    Dear Sir,

    I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of "Leaves of Grass." I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom that America has yet contributed. I am very happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy. It meets the demand I am always making of what seemed the sterile and stingy nature, as if too much handiwork or too much lymph in the temperament were making our Western wits fat and mean. I give you joy of your free and brave thought. I have great joy in it. I find incomparable things said incomparably well, as they must be. I find the courage of treatment, which so delights us, and which large perception only can inspire. I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere for such a start. I rubbed my eyes a little to see if this sunbeam were no illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty. It has the best merits, namely of fortifying and encouraging.

    I did not know until I, last night, saw the book advertised in a newspaper, that I could trust the name as real and available for a Post-Office. I wish to see my benefactor, and have felt much like striking my tasks, and visiting New York to pay you my respects.

    R.W. Emerson.

  4. Thank you! Love this!! Bookmarking so I can come back and re-read.... :)


The divine PB&J in me, salutes the divine PB&J in you.