Dear Sterling: —

It was great to hear from you again. I prize your letters, and as I read them I always get the sense of being a sort of "contemporary posterity" — This is not due to the fact that you are generous in your comments on my work, but to what I know you are as a poet. I am forced, as a reviewer, to read so much of the work of upstarts, and it is always restful to think of you along with a very few others. You give me the feeling of permanence.

I have a fine morsel from our friend, Miss Monroe, and here it is. In commenting right cattily upon "The Quest" she remarks that I am "archaic", as "many poets have raced past" me during the last few years. Then she says this: "The art has made great progress in the last few years"! That is to say, the art of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Virgil, Goethe, Moliere, and Shakespeare (not to mention certain other passé individuals!) has made "great progress" since Miss Monroe established her house of refuge for literary imbeciles! Not? May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ bless us and save our sense of humor now! Likewise, God damn a fool to hell, and especially the female variety!

At the same time with the cat-clawing, appeared a rather long & sane discussion of "The Quest" in The Dial. So there's at least a chance for disagreement in Chicago!

I've read "Everyman". It was a hell of a job to tackle, & you came off well; but it's too coarse goods for your serving, Old Man! I begrudge the time it took from you; for some day you must do the "Lillith". And how beautiful that will be — costly stuff and jewelled! You write as the ancient kings must have felt; and "Everyman" is to me plebeian.

I'm still working regularly on "Three Friends" — and I believe I'm hitting it off pretty well. The damned thing haunts me all the time — and that's a good sign. I will finish next December. Have now been working over a year on it.

Did you contribute to Morris' Symposium? I did; and I'm afraid I'll be much despised for my pains by the horribly advanced girls of the "kitchen sink", vers libre school.

Have been getting up summer wood — have four cords of maple — good burning in it. Will plant a big garden this year. Happily, I have six bushels of potatoes left for seed. Be good to yourself & live long!


Jno. Neihardt