Title: Francis Viele-Griffin to Walt Whitman, 26 April 1888
Date: April 26, 1888
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, With Walt Whitman in Camden, ed. Horace Traubel (Boston: Small, Maynard & Company, 1906), 1:119. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: The location of this manuscript is unknown.
Whitman Archive ID: med.00825
Contributors to digital file: Alex Ashland, Ian Faith, Stefan Schöberlein, and Stephanie Blalock
15 Quai de Bourbon.
April 26, 1888.
Sir and Dear Poet,
In admiration of some of your poems, which I read in an edition, ridiculously "expurgated," published by Chatto & Windus,1 in London, I feel constrained to have the Parisian people share the estimation in which I hold your high lyrical talent.
Would it be too much to ask of you that you indicate the volume (the edition) which you would prefer having rendered in the French? My friend, Jules Laforgue2 (who died only too prematurely) has already given to the public two of your poems, and the reception they met with seems to presage a new victory for your works.
In expectation of your kind reply, Sir and dear poet, permit me to assure you of my sympathy in art and of my profound admiration.
Francis Vielé-Griffin (1864–1937) was an American-born French Symbolist poet. For more on Vielé-Griffin, see Reinhard Kuhn, The Return to Reality: A Study of Francis Vielé-Griffin (Paris: Librairie Minard, 1962).
1. The London publisher Chatto and Windus in 1886 reprinted William Michael Rossetti’s 1868 selection of Whitman’s Poems. [back]
2. Jules Laforgue (1860–1887) was a French-Uruguayan Symbolist poet. For more on Laforgue, see Michael Collie, Jules Laforgue (London: Athlone Press, 1977). [back]