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Hiram Corson to Walt Whitman, 26 April 1886

 loc.01337.001_large.jpg My dear Sir:

I recd​ your favor of April 13th and the book, which I'm delighted to have.2 Pardon my delay in acknowledging, due to illness. I'm delighted to learn that your lecture  loc.01337.002_large.jpg and Reading, in the Academy of Music, was so great a success.3 I hope you may repeat it for many years to come. Americans are apt to forget their great men, unless their work in this world, is kept before their minds, through annual presentations of it.


It was a great disappointment to me, when I was last in Philada​ , that press of work and shortness of time, did not allow me to see you. When I next visit the city, I shall certainly arrange to have a talk with you, on  loc.01337.004_large.jpg certain points upon which I have been long pondering—one especially, that of language-shaping, and the tendency toward impassioned prose, which I feel will be the poetic form of the future, and of which, I think, your "Leaves of Grass" is the most marked prophecy.

Very truly yours, Hiram Corson

Walt Whitman, Esq.

 loc.01337.005_large.jpg  loc.01337.006_large.jpg see notes June 8 1888 from Prof: Corson

Hiram Corson (1828–1911) was a scholar of English literature from Philadelphia, where he taught at Girard College. While his studies focused mainly on canonical British texts (Shakespeare, Chaucer, etc.), Corson would also give public readings of Whitman's verse.


  • 1. This letter is addressed: Walt Whitman, Esq. | 328 Mickle Street | Camden, New Jersey. It is postmarked: ITHACA | 86 | APR 27 | 12_M | N.Y.; CAMDEN, [illegible] | APR | 28 | 8 AM | [illegible]. [back]
  • 2. In his letter of April 13, 1886, the poet sent Corson—whom he addressed as "Prof. Carson"—John Burroughs's 1867 Notes on Walt Whitman. [back]
  • 3. Whitman read his "Death of Abraham Lincoln" in Philadelphia on April 22, 1886. [back]
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