Dear Lucile:

I've been re-reading your two latest letters, and I note that there are questions I have not answered.

About Milton. Yes, I did study Milton in English class under Ann Byrne. We used Taine's English Literature as a text — a very good one I still think; Also I owned a copy of Milton

(Still have it!) (At Wayne)
(padded leather[!?]) and read it. I had great respect for Milton as a boy, and I liked his blank verse; but I was never really thrilled by him. It was a feeling of respect and admiration, I think, more than esthetic and spiritual enjoyment.

Where did I get the books? Various ways. Some books were presents, but more were bought from the local bookstore. I have a good many copies of classics published in hand-bound pocket size at 85¢. It was in such editions that I carried Tennyson & Browning when I worked in my beet-and-onion fields etc etc.

I never used a public library to any considerable extent. I began collecting books for a private library at the age of 12 — with a the paper-back Idylls of the King and a very cheap 3. vol. set of Macaulay's History of England presented by my sister Lulu.

(Which I still have).

In all my reading and collecting I was controlled by a fear of anything but the best in literature. It was almost a superstitious fear. We had a pathetic little town library made up of haphazard donations, and therein I found a copy of Melville's Typee. I read it fearfully and with a sense of shame; for in that time (about 1893 or '94) Melville was not yet in good odor, and I feared he belonged to the "yellow-back" school! I wish I had that copy of Typee. It may well have been a first.

I get beautiful letters from people — some students past and present, some just people! They please but abash me. I'm glad but almost ashamed — or maybe chagrined.

I miss my old friend, Yo-Yo. She was such a wise little being — always at least fifty years old and a perfect lady. My little Jacques (the French poodle) is a rollicking, sweet little cuss — and so beautiful!


John N.
P. S.

Do you have a copy of my talk at the university?

I'm eager to know about your lecture.

Did I tell you that 190 have pre-registered for Epic America? Regular registration is next week. The class will be limited to 200, I understand. I could handle 300.

Forever and ever

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.
COLUMBIA, MO. JAN 2[4?] 530PM 1962
_____ AirMail


Dr. Lucile Aly Box 1138 22nd Ave., East, Eugene, Oregon.