Title: Craig McGinnis to Walt Whitman, 30 April 1883
Date: April 30, 1883
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.
Location: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
Whitman Archive ID: loc.03258
Contributors to digital file: Stefan Schöberlein, Alex Kinnaman, Natalie O'Neal, and Nicole Gray
88 Lyon St. Ottawa
30 April 1883
I have just finished reading, with intense pleasure, your "Leaves of Grass." Would you forgive my suggesting, as a sufficient reply to your adverse critics, the the insertion of the following motto in your future editions. It is from the "Heauton Timorumenos" Act 1. Sc. 1. line 28. "Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto."1
Mr Walt Whitman,
1. The quote is from Roman playwright Publius Terentius Afer's adaptation of the ancient Greek play "Heauton Timorumenos," or "The Self-Tormentor." It was first performed in 163 BC. McGinnis is quoting the famous line: "I am human, I consider nothing human alien to me." [back]