Title: Walt Whitman to Alfred, Lord Tennyson, 2 September 1872
Date: September 2, 1872
Source: The transcription presented here is derived from Walt Whitman, The Correspondence, ed. Edwin Haviland Miller (New York: New York University Press, 1961–1977), 2:184. For a description of the editorial rationale behind our treatment of the correspondence, see our statement of editorial policy.
Location: Private collection of Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Whitman Archive ID: prc.00028
Contributors to digital file: Kenneth M. Price, Elizabeth Lorang, Kathryn Kruger, Zachary King, and Eric Conrad
Sept. 2, 1872.
Dear Mr. Tennyson,
After a long absence in the mountains & lakes of Vermont & northern New York, I am now back again at work, & expect to remain here. Your letter of May 23d, also the one with the picture, safely reached me.1 The picture is superb, & I consider myself in luck, possessing it. It brings you very near me. I have it now before me.
I send you, by same mail with this, in a little book, my piece lately delivered for Dartmouth College commencement, up north. Did Democratic Vistas reach you?2
We have had, in this country, a summer more fit for the infernal regions—but now the delicious Virginia September has set in, balmy cool, & one dilates & feels like work again.
With best respects & love,
My address continues the same, Solicitor's Office Treasury, Washington, D.C.
1. Neither of these letters is known. [back]
"As a Strong Bird on Pinions Free" ("Thou Mother with Thy Equal Brood") was
printed as a pamphlet in 1872. Whitman had sent Democratic
Vistas on April 27, 1872.
Edwin Haviland Miller's publication of this letter carried the following acknowledgments: "I am able to print this previously unknown letter through the courtesy of Lord Tennyson and Sir Charles Tennyson. Dr. Edgar F. Shannon, Jr., president of the University of Virginia, who is preparing an edition of Tennyson's letters, has graciously consented to my publication of the correspondence between the two poets. I wish also to thank the City of Lincoln (England) Public Libraries, Museum, and Art Gallery for the photostat of this letter." [back]