Dear Old Man: -

As was to be expected, I am delighted with "The Caged Eagle and Other Poems". You fancied I "would not like some of these sonnets." You were mistaken. Apparently, you can't write a sonnet that I don't like. I doubt if your equal in the writing of that form is to be found in the world just now. Most certainly no one is your superior. God! What artistry is yours! I have read the volume three times straight through, and I have lingered long over some of the sonnets.

I do not agree with your partisan view in the war-poems. For that matter, I believe no strictly partisan view can be thoroughly philosophic. Nor do I share your apparent belief in the peaceful future of the Race. Progress seems to me an illusion. As I conceive it, we do not proceed toward perfection upon an ascending straight line; not even upon an upward curve. I would diagram the course of Civilization like this: etc.

The height has already been reached often; often we have fallen. This is a world of endless struggle. If anything like the Ideal is ever to be attained, it will be in some spiritual existence — certainly not in a world where guts are so important. Of course I realize that your vision is more alluring to the human mind, because the goal is represented as being in sight. And I'm glad you make beauty out of your vision. Also, you may be right. But even if you are wrong, the fact remains that this is precious stuff you have given us; and I am very proud to have you for my friend. I am thoroughly convinced that you have done some of the very finest sonnets in the language; and so I say to everyone who talks with me about modern poetry.

I'm sailing along nicely with "The Song of Three Friends" — the second piece of my epic cycle. I think it is better than "Hugh Glass". After the "Friends" there are two other pieces, & I have six years of work laid out clearly. My collected lyrics will come out in September. The volume will be called "The Quest" — about 200 pages. Macmillans chose the title.

Congratulations, Old Man! And many, many thanks.



What of "Lillith", your coming masterpiece?