Title: Walt Whitman to Cyril Flower, 2 February 1872
Date: February 2, 1872
Source: Transcribed from digital images or a microfilm reproduction of the original item. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Notes for this letter were derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller, 6 vols. (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977).
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.01694
Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Jonathan Y. Cheng, Elizabeth Lorang, Nima Najafi Kianfar, and Nicole Gray
February 2, 1872.1
Dear Cyril Flower,
You may think yourself neglected—perhaps forgotten—by your American friend. But not forgotten, believe me. Twenty times during the last year have I promised myself to write you.
I am still here at Washington—every thing much the same in my condition as when you made your brief visit here.—
I continue well in health & good spirits—& as usual spend much more of my leisure in the open air, than reading, studying, or in-doors at all.
I am very soon going on to New York to bring out a new edition of my poems—same as the copy you have, only in one Vol.—shall remain there until about 7th of April—(my address there will be, 107 north Portland av. Brooklyn, New York, U.S. America)—Then to return again here (where my address will be Solicitor's Office Treasury, Washington, D.C. &c.)
Your two letters from England duly reached me at the times, & were very welcome.
Tennyson has twice written to me—& good friendly letters. He invites me to visit him.
I shall mail to you in a few days my latest piece,2 in a magazine.
And now dear Cyril Flower I send you my love—& hope you may not think hard of me for not writing before.
Cyril Flower (1843–1907) was an English barrister and a friend of Tennyson; see Harold Blodgett, Walt Whitman in England (1934), 128–129. According to the February 20, 1886 Solicitor's Journal, Flower was appointed a Lord of the Treasury; Flower served as a member of Parliament from 1880 to 1892, when he was given the title Baron Battersea (see the London Gazette (6 September 1892), 5090). According to Flower's April 23, 1871 letter, he met Whitman in Washington in December, 1870. He had later delivered some of Whitman's books to Tennyson, who "was much touched by your memory of him, and I told him of your deep regard for him." On July 16, 1871, Flower informed Whitman that Tennyson was sending a letter by the same mail (Tennyson's letter was dated July 12, 1871). Flower wrote again on October 20, 1871: "When I read you or think of you . . . I feel that I hold in my hand clasped strong & tight & for security the great hand of a friend, a simple good fellow, a man who loves me & who is beautiful because he loves, & with the consciousness of that I feel never alone—never sad."
1. A draft of this letter is in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. [back]
2. "The Mystic Trumpeter." [back]