The present was written shortly after Whitman suffered the stroke from which he would never fully recover, the physical impairment from which necessitated his move to his brother's house in Camden, New Jersey.
"Delighted to please in so trifling a manner" the poet enclosed four signed photographs (no longer present), though "substituting ones I like better" than the ones originally sent for his inscription. He then gives a quick summary of his poor health, "I am laid up here, shattered by paralysis - have been disabled for eight months, I am pretty badly off yet." Understandably, he welcomes correspondence, "Write me a line here. My life is very quiet and uneventful every day".
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