“Upon the publication of Leaves of Grass, who wrote to Walt Whitman, ‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career.’ Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1850. The complete salutation is: ‘I greet you at the beginning of a great career, which yet must have had a long foreground somewhere for such a start.’ Whitman was thirty-six at the time of the book’s publication.”
Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.