Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Rudolf Schmidt to Walt Whitman, 27 November 1881

Date: November 27, 1881

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03716

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 note: The annotation, "from Rudolf Schmidt Nov '81," is in the hand of Walt Whitman.

Contributors to digital file: Vince Moran, Eder Jaramillo, Nima Najafi Kianfar, Nicole Gray, and Stefan Schöberlein

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

27th Nov 1881.

Dear Walt Whitman

Received yours of the 10th this morning—the papers also. Wrote to you in the Spring, when Bjornson was in America. Did he come to se you? Of course not: you are an old paralytical man, who can be of no [use?] to him!

In more than four years the parents of Clemens Petersen have had no news from him. Have you seen his name in papers or periodicals? Perhaps he has died, and no friendly hand has been there to close his eyes or send information to Denmark. If you should known anything relating to him I should be very obliged to you for communicating it to me.

The young Norwegian poet Kristian Elster died for some months ago just having finished the best book he ever wrote. He was a heart's ease growing in the shadow: the leaves are turning white from want of sun!

The Icelandic poet Steingrimur Thorsteinsson (Reikjavik, Iceland) takes great interest in your poems, as far as he has been acquainted with them. Forward a copy of "leaves of Grass" to him (via Leith) He is an old friend of mine.

I have published a great volume of talks this autumn. But it would be too difficult to tell you anything about them.

Your "Spirit that form'd this scene" is powerful and splendid. I shall translate it. The editor of "Illustreret Tidende" (our "Illustrated News") has declared himself willing to publish your image and biography as soon as there may be an occasion. Most probably the book of Mr Bucke (London Ontario) will turn out to be a good project. Has the book appeared? He promised to [send it me?]

Are you well. I have been suffering very much from Rheumatism on the last days.

Rudolf Schmidt


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.