Title: Thomas G. Gentry to Walt Whitman, 8 February 1884
Date: February 8, 1884
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Ed Folsom, "The Mystical Ornithologist and the Iowa Tufthunter: Two Unpublished Whitman Letters and Some Identifications," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, 1 (June 1983), 18–29. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: University of Iowa Special Collections and University Archives
Whitman Archive ID: med.00768
Contributors to digital file: Alex Kinnaman, Stefan Schöberlein, and Nicole Gray
February 8, 1884
Mr. Walt Whitman,
Since the completion of my late work on "Nests & Eggs of Birds of the U.S.," I have been engaged in preparing a book on bird-poetry. Would like to include your poem on "The Man-of-War Bird," if you have no objection. Anything else that you would like to appear, will be given a place, if you will call my attention thereto. Trusting to hear from you soon,
Yrs., &c., Thos. G. Gentry.
Thomas Gentry (1843–1905) was an ornithologist from Philadelphia and had already published six books by the time he got into contact with Whitman. It appears that his turn to Whitman coincided with a growing alienation from his profession. For more on Gentry, see Ed Folsom, "The Mystical Ornithologist and the Iowa Tufthunter: Two Unpublished Whitman Letters and Some Identifications," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 1:1 (1983), 18–29.