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January 21

William Butler Yeats composes his final poem, "The Black Tower" in 1939.

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What New England poet and philosopher was integral in launching Walt Whitman's career?

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Ralph Waldo Emerson. Whitman, as an unknown poet, sent Emerson a copy of his manuscript. Emerson wrote back glowingly: "I greet you at the beginning of a great career." Whitman printed that quotation on the spine of the second edition of Leaves of Grass (without asking Emerson's permission). The endorsement considerably boosted Whitman's credibility.

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