November 7th 1810
Dear Mr. Whitman,
This is William writing. You may not remember, but we have met before at the 1806 poetry convention in Paris, four years ago. I was the man who asked you whether or not you had ever thought about converting to another form of creative expression.
Despite this, I am writing this letter to you as a fan, of your latest work: ‘Song Of Myself’. Which I thought was a great read. Given I was captivated throughout your poem, Even with this being the case, like any man I have some questions about your newest poem.
The first question: ‘Are you religious, of have you ever been related to somebody that is?’ Strange question right? Well this question eventuated to me while I was reading the first section of your poem, where you comment about your ‘soul’ and about how everybody should become equal. Two very religious topics, I might say. Despite this if this isn’t the case and there are exterior motives behind your choice, I would like to know.
The second question: ‘I’ve noticed in your poem you include lots of sexual references. Are you trying to make a political statement, or are their other reason for writing them down?’ Don’t mistake me fore being anti-romanticist, as even in my poetry I might include one of two sexual references, but I would never dedicate a whole chapter of my poem to writing about ‘the birds and the bees’.
The third and final question; ‘do you live by the principles that you have talked about in your poem?’ Not saying you couldn’t, I just stating that in your poem you comment about going to the woods and becoming ‘undisguised and naked’. Not that there is anything wrong with nudism, but isn’t this course of action too exaggerated for what the population of today can do? Just walk into the local woods and strip? Forgetting this, another principle you talk about in your poem is about how you think death is good. Does this mean you eat meat, given its natural for the predator to eat the prey?
Well that’s all I have for now. Talk later, ohh also I am publishing a new poetry book with Coleridge soon, I hope that you may find time to read it, your opinion is important.