Dear Comrade:

Your letter reached me early in my vacation here, and things were happening, so that I've neglected to answer your questions. I'm ashamed and sorry.

Of course you can do the article on me better than anyone else.

As to Indian poetry by Indians, the best I know is in "Indian Love Songs" published by Macmillan. The title is misleading + was chosen in the hope of attracting the foolish public. There are genuine religious songs in the collection, + some very beautiful. All are true + fine. So much that has been published in this line is damned sentimentalism concocted by vain white persons hoping to make an impression.

I suppose a complete discussion of Indian poetry would have to include Mary Austin's work, and a fairly fashionable article moved include Witter Bynner, who is all right at a ladies' tea. Mary Austin knows, however.

No Indian writer is doing anything worthwhile at all. Indian poetry grew out of the old tribal life. I was not, apparently, the product of individual poets in the way ours is.

Sarett is worth while surely. Alexander's "God's Drum" contains genuine Indian stuff, but does not move me deeply as do the mystical religious poems of "Indian love songs". Don't forget Mary Austin. Real stuff there, tho' not of great interest to me, since I am as I am. I am not interested in Indians as Indians - only as people in a peculiar situation. Human nature in the grip of fate - not Indian nature as a curiosity - interests me. And their poetry interests me only because it is human + poetry. I'm perhaps the only writer this feels in this way. Had they been Chinese or Japs or Zulus in a similar situation, my interest would have been the same.

Yes, your feeling about Sarett + Alexander is not wholly unjustified I suspect, though God knows I can not be envious + would stand for either against their enemies.

Alexander is less the systematizing

In his work on other subjects, Alexander is perhaps less the systematizing philosopher than the philosophical mystic. There often + often he scores, with illuminating flashes. He has genius I feel sure. Surely his learning is enormous, and as an ethnologist he has made large and important. Contributions to the study of the Indian.

I'm going back to St. Louis Saturday.

Endless love, good comrade