- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 27] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Sunday, February 22, 1891

     Did not see W. today: but found that he had paged and arranged the preface and poems—packed them in a couple of paste boards—had written on the top, and a note to Ferguson.

     Letter from Bucke of 8th:
8 Feb 1891

My dear Horace

Many thanks for your kind note of 4th and W. your kind and deep interest in my welfare—I feel it more than I can say—I ought to have sent you & W. word oftener while I was sick but really it never occurred to me that you would worry about it—the chief reason was that I never looked upon the illness as the least serious and did not have the sense to think that persons a long way off—knowing less abt. it might imagine it was so or at least fear it might be so. But at all events it is gone by now and I am as well as usual (which I hope is well enough to satisfy anyone).

If you can make the (soi-disant) liberals (or even a few of them) understand that L[eaves] of G[rass] contains the vital religious fire of today well and good—you will have done a good work—and at least it is worth trying—good luck to you in the enterprise! But really it sometimes looks to me (of late years) as if all this was useless—that those who have it in them to see, see anyhow—and that those who have not will not see or hear "even though one rose from the dead to tell them." But this no doubt is an exaggeration the other way—it is well for us to work anyway for our own sakes if not for the sake of others—therefore work my dear boy "while it is still day—for the night" etc. etc.

Yes, Horace, I know I am too much of a savage for the New York folk (and for many others)—but after all who and what is the "friendly and flowing savage"? Is he behind or ahead of our boasted civilization?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - [Begin page 28] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Some time ago I said "From this moment I ordain myself loosed from all limits." And I find it a very good way to live—let each one do as it suits him. "I am for those who are not mastered—whose tempers cannot be mastered—whom laws, theories, conventions can not master." I am for living the new life and getting the good of it—do you know what that means? I am not worrying abt. what folk think or say.

Love to you dear Horace

RM Bucke


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

Support the Archive | About the Archive

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