I am not blind to the worth of the wonderful gift of “Leaves Of Grass”… I am very happy in reading it, as great power makes us happy… I give you joy of your free and brave thought. I have great joy in it. I find incomparable things said incomparably well, as they must be. I find the courage of treatment which so delights us, & which large perception only can inspire… 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.

Ralph Waldo Emerson in a letter to Walt Whitman, dated July 21, 1884.

“I have read your poems with my door locked late at night and I have read them on the seashore where I could look all round me and see no more sign of human life than the ships out at sea: and here I often found myself waking up from a reverie with the book open before me. I love all poetry, and high generous thoughts make the tears rush to my eyes, but sometimes a word or a phrase of yours takes me away from the world around me and places me in an ideal land surrounded by realities more than any poem I ever read.”

Bram Stoker, from a letter to Walt Whitman written c. February 1872