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.

5 comments:

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

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  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." ?

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  3. Transcript
    Concord
    Massachusetts

    21 July
    1855

    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.

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

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