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Thomas W. H. Rolleston to Walt Whitman, 5 May [1884]

Your two letters2 received this day. I think, after all, that my former objections to giving the English of the L. of G. with the translation were not so well-founded as they seemed, and it shall be done as you wish so far as I can see at present. I will gladly insert the extract from your letter in the preface,3 and will give Salut au Monde.4 We go for a month or so into the country soon, and from the time you get this till the end of June my address will be Liegau bei Radeberg, Saxony, if you have anything to say or send. I am sorry to hear you have been ill—hope this finds you still on the mend—

T. W. R.

Thomas William Hazen Rolleston (1857–1920) was an Irish poet and journalist. After attending college in Dublin, he moved to Germany for a period of time. He wrote to Whitman frequently, beginning in 1880, and later produced with Karl Knortz the first book-length translation of Whitman's poetry into German. In 1889, the collection Grashalme: Gedichte [Leaves of Grass: Poems] was published by Verlags-Magazin in Zurich, Switzerland. See Walter Grünzweig, Constructing the German Walt Whitman (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1995). For more information on Rolleston, see Walter Grünzweig, "Rolleston, Thomas William Hazen (1857–1920)," Walt Whitman: An Encyclopedia, ed. J.R. LeMaster and Donald D. Kummings (New York: Garland Publishing, 1998).


  • 1. The postcard is addressed: 328 Mickle Street | Camden | New Jersey | United States. It is postmarked: DRESDEN-ALTST. | 1. | 6/5 | 84 | 4½-5N. | CAMDEN, N.J. | MAY | 18 | 5 PM | 1884 | REC'D. [back]
  • 2. See Whitman's letter to Rolleston of April 20, 1884. The second letter, evidently mailed on April 22, though the entry in Whitman's Commonplace Book appears under April 20, included an "endorsement to go in R's preface—& recommending that Salut au Monde be included" (Charles E. Feinberg Collection of the Papers of Walt Whitman, 1839–1919, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.). [back]
  • 3. See the letter from Whitman to Rolleston of April, 1884 (reconstructed in Whitman and Rolleston: A Correspondence, ed. Horst Frenz [Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1951], 89). [back]
  • 4. "Salut au Monde" appears in the published Grashalme, 130–142. [back]
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