Dear Lucile:

I was so sorry to receive your boring letter of Oct. 21st, and I am replying at once by way of discharging an unpleasant duty at the earliest possible moment!

(Don't you just love the way I open my letters to nice ladies?)

But I am glad you are not sick, and I had feared, for I was about to wire you a blooming plant, and now I'll not have to do that! (No, no! I was afraid, and I am glad you are not sick.)

You have such happy news. Bower is trying to get me a lecture. Bless his heart! The lecture really isn't necessary so far as my planning to visit you is concerned. I mean to zizz out there because I want to be with you'ns a little while, and see the lovely home, and have some talks. But, of course, I'd appreciate the lecture.

And Bower designed your new desk, and it's arranged so that notes and reference books will always be within reach as you recount the dreams and deeds of the Little Buffalo. And you scrubbed my nose and ears with a wire brush, and now I dominate the living room very effectively! Hurrah! (And the new desk is mahogany!)

You asked two good questions. "The Dynast of the Fat" is my expression, and you will find it in The Red Wind Comes". I never used the expression anywhere else. Incidentally, that poem has a real wallop in it. Remember that it was written before the first World War, when the Czar was still in power. It had vital meaning then — and still has, for surely the Red Wind is blowing and it is still rising. (Isn't it a bit comical that that the fact saddens me now?!)

I like the spondaic hammer blows in the final line too!

When I wrote the poem I was a member of the Socialist Party and was at heart a revolutionary — of the Norman Thomas type. Labor was in a very bad way when I was young. Look at it now! Well — You can see why I dreamed of doing my chief life-work on the French Revolution. As you have surmised, no one character of the period appealed to me especially. It was the idea of social injustice and revolt that moved me. I made a rather extensive study of the period.

Here I recall, what perhaps you have not known, that I did a sonnet in those years on Theodore Roosevelt. It actually appeared in the Daily Worker, I believe. At the time I admired Roosevelt tremendously and also feared him; for I had the notion he wanted to be a Caesar. Well, he would have been a good one, I suspect! My friend, Stanley Washburn, was intimately acquainted with T. R. and he told me the Caesar idea was strong in the man. He did not put it that way. I asked him once if there was anything to the charge that T. R. had the Caesar bee in his bonnet, and Washburn answered yes with some emphasis (and isn't it funny that now I look back to T. R. with a glowing sense of greatness?)

I mention these things by way of showing how how how the mood of social revolt dominated me when

I dreamed of using the French Revolution as a vehicle.

The proposed work was not plotted. I'm glad I chose to do the Cycle.

The Missourian this coming Sunday will have two or three columns on the recordings of my stuff. Last Wednesday I held forth nobly on television for 15 minutes flat. It was Poetry Week, and I was being important for the local poetry enthusiasts. I spoke a very few wise words & then recited some poatry ​; it was perfectly lovely!

With affection for each of you, including Granby,


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