Dear Comrade:-

What a fine vision that is - our being together in an independent Department of Poetry! We'd scatter light. How I do wish I might have such a department with the right to choose just one to help me. You'd teach modern poetry, and I'd go in for lectures on Theory. Gosh! But there'd be no first or second in such a department - just two people in earnest each going what might be in him to do. If Universities were controlled by wisdom, this would happen. But we know what controls even the Chancellor and how the Regents think, and what standards control legislatures. Alas!

I do not base anything on the University. There's a movement on, & the backers are in dead earnest & have leverages; but who knows what they may be able to do? I plan altogether on a newspaper, with the promise of a chain of papers later on. There may be more doing in the University movement than I know, for I have not encouraged the movers. On the contrary, I've been frank to express a lack of faith in the movement, refusing to do or say anything that might seem designed to help in landing me. I have told them that I'm not looking for a University job, and would not accept one unless I could feel sure that I could do real good.

But there's no telling.

Comrade, The Messiah will be my top! This is not said in excitement. The theme is so big, & I've changed so that I am nearer ready for the theme. It is this: The triumph of spirit through apparent defeat. It's the biggest theme in the world.

I am "objective". I believe in the world of sense as a constant illusion to which adjustment must be made without surrender to the lowest and with an unfailing passionate desire for the highest. To call it illusion, in my sense, is to be strictly scientific. It is not what it appears, but we must live by knowledge of the going relations of the appearances. All this is, in the strictest scientific sense, "a painted veil"; but we are of the painting now & can not ignore it. But there is a universal principle behind it all, and how to develop so as to know ourselves one with that principle, for all this troubled seeming - that is the great matter. I work for that, sometimes with success for hours at a time; rarely, for whole days. I do not use the word "God", but I'm sure I mean what the old seers meant before the rabble took the word & ruined it. All directions away from self lead to that unifying principle. That much one can prove for himself.

I'm glad you really care about the new book. I'm so glad. Of course it's absurd to think of the Nobel Prize. I know it's absurd. This world has so many really wise ones. I'm not an ass. I feel convinced that the Wars does merit the Pulitzer Prize, whether it is so judged or not. The Nobel Prize is given for literature "dans le sense d'idealisme" - in that "sense" this last year! But it was nice that Benet was really moved by the thing. Of course, he's a poet, and he's only one.

At Springfield the other night, after my lecture, a Redpatch man came up & shook a dog-eared copy of Poetic Values at me. I said: "What on earth are you doing with that?" He chortled gloriously about it - seemed to have seen a big light.

I'm glad that you are not going to let anything interfere with your growing book. That's the only way, and how eager I am for that book to find its place! We have decided to hold Collected Poems until October, this year, as the Wars is going & would be stopped by the appearance of the Collected Poems. They should be a year apart. Perhaps you could have the book ready for publication during 1927. That would be good. Latham asked for a copy of Man and Poet, & I sent one yesterday. He wants it for Indian Wars publicity, he says.

Brooklyn Eagle says the Wars is "wonderful stuff," I judge from the context that the accent is on "wonderful"!!

Endless love,

Br [anson?]

United [States Postage?] 2 Cent[s 2?]

Dr. Julius T. House New River State School Montgomery, West Virginia

Judge has the letter from the Washington Herald chap, & I can't remember his name

Will get it.

[on back of envelope]