Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) to Walt Whitman (1819-1892)
to exhibition object
Dear Sir, I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of "Leaves
of Grass." I find it the most extraordinary piece of wit and wisdom
that America has yet contributed. . . . I find incomparable things
said incomparably well, as they must be. I find the courage of
treatment, which so delights us, and which large perception only
can inspire. I greet you at the beginning of a great career.
. . I rubbed my eyes a little to see if this sunbeam were no
illusion; but the solid sense of the book is a sober certainty.
It has the
best merits, namely, of fortifying and encouraging.