Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Oswald Cave to Walt Whitman, 27 April [1871–1891]

Date: April 27, [1871–1891]

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01217

Source: The Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 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.

Contributors to digital file: Cristin Noonan, Amanda J. Axley, Erel Michaelis, Paige Wilkinson, and Stephanie Blalock

page image
image 1
page image
image 2
page image
image 3
page image
image 4

Burden Hall
Burden Rd
Ap. 27

Dear Sir,

I am preparing a series of lectures upon some few of our living poets, & intend including one upon your own life work. I want to quote in full "Beat! Beat! Drums!" "Poets to come," "When I heard at the close of the day," & "Give me the splendid silent sun," as well as several short extracts from various poems.1 I am anxious to know whether you will generously consent to my using in full the poems named.

One more request I wish to profer. May I hope for the honor of being permitted to dedicate my little volume of essays to yourself, in sincere & earnest recognition of the gratitude of one who owes more than he can well express to the teaching to & [inspiration?] of your poems. Of course I would thankfully submit the book & terms of dedication to you before allowing it to see the light. But that could not be until the Fall.

Forgive my intruding upon your privacy, — believe me, with much respect,

Sincerely Yours
Oswald Cave

To: Walt Whitman

As yet we have no information about this correspondent.


1. Cave is referring to the following poems by Whitman: "Beat! Beat! Drums!, "Poets to Come," "When I Heard at the Close of Day," and "Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun," all of which were published in the 1871–1872 edition of Leaves of Grass. This letter was almost certainly sent at or after the publication of this edition of Leaves of Grass and would have been received by Whitman prior to his death; this letter therefore was sent between 1871 and 1891. [back]


Published Works | In Whitman's Hand | Life & Letters | Commentary | Resources | Pictures & Sound

Support the Archive | About the Archive

Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Matt Cohen, Ed Folsom, & Kenneth M. Price, editors.