Dear Mr. Braithewaite:_

Some time ago I wrote you a note by way of expressing my appreciation of your article on "The Song of Hugh Glass". Now, with no less admiration and appreciation for the article as a whole, I want to draw your attention to a slight matter in that review which is somewhat misleading.

You refer to my two former books, "A Bundle of Myrrh" and "Man-Song". You seem never to have seen "The Stranger at the Gate" which appeared in 1912 and was widely proclaimed by reviewers and critics as the book by which I had definitely "arrived". It certainly does contain my best lyrical work, and since you have not seen it, I am taking the liberty to send you a copy under separate cover. I think, had you known the book, you would have written differently in your opening paragraph.

Furthermore, considering what you say regarding the lack of spiritual interest in my first two volumes, I wonder if you have not forgotten their contents. "A Bundle of Myrrh" is a sequence of songs and chants dealing with the various phases of development from boyhood, through the erotic period natural to youth, and up to the time when the spiritual vision begins to dominate. That sequence was not written as a book; it accumulated through a number of years during which much more than is written there was lived, and certainly in no artificial atmosphere. The sequence climbs steadily toward the four concluding poems, "Prayer of an Alien Soul", "The Ancient Story", "The Ancient Story", "The Last Altar", and "Resurrection". How then can it be said that the spiritual note is wanting?

And as to the volume "Man-Song", it contains the following: "Gaea", "Prayer for Pain", "Battle-Cry", "Outward", "April Theology", "When I Have Gone Weird Ways", "O Seek Me Not Within This Tomb" etc. What of the spiritual note in these? Of all the poems in this volume, less than a half dozen strike the erotic note, and in each of those the spiritual note is dominant unquestionably.

Is it possible that you could have confused my work with that of some other poet? For this is not at all a matter of opinion, but merely of ascertainable fact.

Oddly enough, it was precisely the spiritual note and what was very generally acknowledged to be the evident first-hand reality of the experiences in these two volumes that won for me a large and faithful following.

I call your attention to this matter in a kindly spirit and with all sentiments of respect. It is because I know what you are that I have felt free to write to you.

Very truly,

Jno. G. Neihardt

As you will note, the first eleven poems of the volume I send you form a sequence on the mastery of birth. This follows naturally after the "Bundle" and "Man-Song".