Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Kenningale Cook to Walt Whitman, 23 April 1877

Date: April 23, 1877

Whitman Archive ID: loc.01331

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.

Editorial notes: The annotation, "send something?," is in the hand of Walt Whitman. The annotation, "see notes Aug 26 & 29 '88," is in the hand of Horace Traubel.

Contributors to digital file: Vince Moran, Eder Jaramillo, Alicia Bones, Kevin McMullen, Nicole Gray, and Kenneth Price

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1 Adam St.
23 April 1877

Dear Sir,

I have been reading aloud your 'Whispers of Heavenly Death'1 this evening from the copy which you so kindly sent me in March 1876; and it has led me on to ask if you have any poems still unpublished in the same vein of mystic realism.2 And if so, could you spare me one or two for the Magazine which I represent? I am sorry that but a trifle could be offered for them, as the Magazine has been neglected of late, and has only recently come into my hands, to be worked up again by labour & patience

I trust you are as well as you expect to be, and nearly as happy as you hope.

Yours faithfully
Kenningale Cook.
to Walt Whitman [Esq.?]


1. Whitman's poem "Whispers of Heavenly Death" was first published in 1868. After printing two sympathetic accounts of Whitman in their Broadway Annual (London), Routledge & Sons requested "one or two papers or poems" from him on December 28, 1867 (Horace Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden, Monday, June 4, 1888, 263). Whitman sent "Whispers of Heavenly Death," which appeared in the October 1868 edition of the Broadway. For this periodical printing, see "Whispers of Heavenly Death." [back]

2. Kenningale Robert Cook (1845–1886) sought a contribution to the Dublin University Magazine, a journal he edited (Marion Meade, Madame Blavatsky: The Woman Behind the Myth [New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1980], 390). Cook was also the author of The Fathers of Jesus: A Study of the Lineage of the Christian Doctrine and Traditions, 2 vols. (London: K. Paul, Trench & Co., 1886). Cook first wrote to Whitman in February 1876, enclosing money for a copy of Whitman's complete poems. In that letter, Cook also notes that while he considered sending Whitman copies of his own poems, he decided against it as "they are very juvenile." [back]


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