Dear Lucile:

I was so glad to hear from you. It seemed a long while between whiles, but I knew you were busy; and now I know about Gramby's adventure. Hurrah for her! There's nothing sad about it, except, of course, that she was Bower's mother and is not here anymore. Otherwise, hurrah!! She believed something and lived her belief, and she must have done a whole of a lot of good! I hope, and almost believe, that she has found her Baptist heaven. Why not? There's a rumor to the effect that in the spirit world one's thoughts are creative. I liked Gramby & I had the impression that she did not dislike me. Bless her!

I wrote to you on March 3rd, but did not mail the letter, for I knew you would write in good time. In that letter I reported a reading at the Student Union in the Literary Hour. That was March 1st. It was a wow. They acted hypnotized and then exploded. Also, they kept me going a full hour. Whatever it is that works in these affairs is clearly growing stronger. Its It's very noticeable to me. I wonder why it's so. It was the same at the U. of So. Dak. I'll send a couple of letters. I should gather up a number of others for you too).

I'm glad you have my remarks at the Lincoln unveiling.

More questions:

One. Have you seen Brandenburg's speech speech at Lincoln? It gives important data about my schooling.

Two. Do you know my short story, The Red Roan Mare? Alice read it aloud recently, and I was surprised. Had not read it for 50 years.

Epic America is booming — fine group of students, & the attention is excellent. Critical Ess Essay is a pleasure, as I have the best students I've had for a long while — three mature women (candidates for the Master's) and two bright young men. We have a good time, & they are doing fine work.

Echoes, the Sigma Tau Delta annual at Wayne State, asked me to do a preface for this year's issue. I did, & you'll see it. Also, the Wayne State quarterly will print my White Radiance. I had nothing else to offer.

You should know Jacques! He's a fluffy, bouncing bundle of joyful love.

You are dearyou and all yours. And do kiss P kiss Perky for me!

John N.
P. S.

Margaret Carpenter, author of the definitive biography of Sara Teasdale, asks permission to use my letters to Sara. She encloses encloses copies of the letters, which I will send to you. (I'll get some other letters together for you.)

The letters are pretty good ones. I had forgotten them entirely.

Oh I don't like you very much at all; but just the same do write me a lovely letter every while and a half at least, please!

P. P. S.

Answering your questions about authors who meant a great deal to me:

I do think that perhaps Tennyson was the earliest powerful influence, because I discovered the Idylls at 12, as you know. Then Browning's lyrics came next, I suppose. I used to carry pocket volumes of these. I read hungrily in all the English classes, of course. Emerson came late —very late. I had been prejudiced against him as a man. I still do not really like his type; but I do profoundly admire his work. Plato, also, came very late, and was no stronger when he came.

I felt I knew him, altho' I didn't swallow him whole.

P. P. P. S

I have no reviews of Dawn Builder and don't recall any, 'tho there must have been some.

I'm sure Meredith did not influence me. altho I admired him greatly. He too came late.

I have old John Hunton's Diary. I was with him nearly a day about 40 years ago. He had bought Fort Laramie (where he was a sutter in the 70's) and was living there with his young (second) wife.


The Diary is fascinating. I can hardly leave it alone. To read in it is, for me at least, like being in that country during the gold-rush Black Hills days & the last Sioux wars. It's the very trivial nature of the entries that is so convincing — trivial-seeming now, but the common stuff of living then.

I seem so close to those days, sometimes living right in them.

(Did I tell you about the joke played by Bridger on the army officers? Hunton told me.

John Neihardt Route 7 Columbia, Mo.


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