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Walt Whitman to John Burroughs, 2 July 1877

Am down here for a couple of weeks on a farm with friends, enjoying things.1 Still keep pretty well this summer. Marvin is coming to Mrs. G[ilchrist]'s on the 6th & 7th.2 I shall be there. That "Eagle" grows, grows.3

W. W.


  • 1. Whitman was with the Staffords from June 25 to July 6 or 7 (The Commonplace Book, Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 2. Joseph B. Marvin, one of Walt Whitman's Washington friends, visited Anne Gilchrist shortly after her arrival in Philadelphia in September, 1876 (Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings [London: T.F. Unwin, 1887], 228). Marvin had been co-editor of The Radical in 1866-1867. Later he was employed in the Treasury Department in Washington. On December 15, 1874, Marvin wrote to Whitman: "I read and re-read your poems, and the 'Vistas,' and more and more see that I had but a faint comprehension of them before. They surpass everything. All other books seem to me weak and unworthy my attention. I read, Sunday, to my wife, Longfellows verses on Summer, in the last Atlantic, and then I read your poem on the Death of Lincoln. It was like listening to a weak-voiced girl singing with piano accompanyment​ , and then to an oratorio by the whole Handel Society, with accompanyment​ by the Music Hall organ." Marvin's veneration of Whitman is also transparent in an article in The Radical Review, I (1877), 224-259. [back]
  • 3. This is a reference to "The Flight of the Eagle" in Birds and Poets. See the letter from Whitman to John Burroughs of January 24, 1877. [back]
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