Life & Letters


About this Item

Title: Charles W. Sparkes to Walt Whitman, 21 July 1889

Date: July 21, 1889

Whitman Archive ID: loc.03722

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: Kirby Little, Caterina Bernardini, Ian Faith, and Stephanie Blalock

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60 Stanhope Building
Red Cross St
London. S. E.
July 21st 1889

Dear Brother,

you who have put in words what I can but feebly put in thoughts, you I know will excuse the liberty I am taking in writing to you. Drawn to you irresistibly I write, satisfied to be in communion with you, even though only in thought and by letter, though ere long I hope to see you face to face, for He, my lover and comrade, lives in Delaware, and the force of love impels the one to the other. This, though, I have to ask, so ask at once, whether out of your comradeship you would send me one or two roots of Calamus, to be treasured by myself and comrades as dear memorials of the Master-comrade. I make bold to ask this favour, trusting to your Inscription "To You." I have made bold to speak to you, will you fulfil your promise and speak to me?

I think of all your wondrous poems, the one that appeals most to me is "The base of all metaphysics," shewing, as it does, the grandeur of the conception of the divine Christian faith in universal love. I am an English Priest, but hope I do not come under your law, for priests can love democracy and mankind. I live among the people in the crowded buildings, I love them all and individual. May universal love soon spread it wings o'er Continents new & old.

To thee I offer my affection, for that is all I can, but may we meet ere long. So long.

Your comrade
Charles W. Sparkes.

Very little is known about the English priest Charles W. Sparkes.


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