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Thomas G. Gentry to Walt Whitman, 8 February 1884

Mr. Walt Whitman, Dear Sir:—

Since the completion of my late work on "Nests & Eggs of Birds of the U.S.," I have been engaged in preparing a book on bird-poetry. Would like to include your poem on "The Man-of-War Bird," if you have no objection. Anything else that you would like to appear, will be given a place, if you will call my attention thereto. Trusting to hear from you soon,

I remain Yrs., &c., Thos. G. Gentry.

Thomas Gentry (1843–1905) was an ornithologist from Philadelphia and had already published six books by the time he got into contact with Whitman. It appears that his turn to Whitman coincided with a growing alienation from his profession. For more on Gentry, see Ed Folsom, "The Mystical Ornithologist and the Iowa Tufthunter: Two Unpublished Whitman Letters and Some Identifications," Walt Whitman Quarterly Review 1:1 (1983), 18–29.

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