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Walt Whitman’s Canary

late 19th Century

Immortalised in the poem ‘My Canary Bird’, this canary was a favourite pet of the poet. It was brought to Bolton in 1891 by Dr R. M. Bucke, a friend of Whitman’s.

The American poet Walt Whitman is best known for his 1855 work ‘Leaves of Grass’, one of the most influential poems ever published.

Around 1885 several admirers of Whitman’s work began to meet in Eagle Street, Bolton to discuss both the work of the poet and the ideals discussed in his poetry.

Two members of the group, Mr J. W. Wallace and Dr J. Johnston, held a correspondence with Whitman himself. They also travelled to meet him in America resulting in a close relationship between the Bolton Fellowship and Whitman’s circle of friends. The correspondence is now held in Bolton Archive.