Mark Twain to Walt Whitman: “Happy Birthday” 1

Continuing our linking to Yale Library’s podcasting of letters from American Authors, today we post Mark Twain’s letter to Walt Whitman on his 70th Birthday.  To celebrate, many of Whitman’s close acquaintances wrote to him to commemorate.  A copy of the transcript of the letter is here.

One of the interesting statements that Twain makes is the expectation that things will be developing rapidly very soon.  He writes to Whitman: “Yes, you have indeed seen much — but tarry yet a while, for the greatest is yet to come. Wait thirty years, & then look out over the earth! You shall see marvels upon marvels added to these whose nativity you have witnessed; & conspicuous above them you shall see their formidable Result — Man at almost his full stature at last! — & still growing, visibly growing while you look.”  Twain was correct — thirty years from the letter would see technology like the world never knew.  Unfortunately, that technology was that of war.

Image of letter, sent to Whitman from Twain.   Hat tip to The Centered Librarian.

One comment

  1. Pingback: Mark Twain Writes a Rapturous Letter to Walt Whitman on the Poet’s 70th Birthday (1889) | Golden Gate Daily

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