Dear Old Man: —

Nom de Dieu! Enfant de Gârce! Sacré damn! I'm elated over your whole-hearted and, I think, extremely generous praise of "Three Friends". I'd rather convince one real he poet than get tons of taffy from the reviewers and have a hundred thousand readers! By God! If you feel that way about it, then I know that I didn't waste my three years of work on the piece. You have no idea how I wanted to get across to you! Louis Ledoux, who is now on the Coast, by the way, was enthusiastic about the poem also; and he is at the opposite pole from you. It strikes me as a good sign that you both like the thing, and I feel humble as hell about it, and happy. I mention Ledoux only because he is so far away from you in temperament etc.

I thank you most heartily for your encouragement, Old Man! I'll have plenty of guts for what is left to do on the Cycle in the next ten years; but your approval is of great value to me. After all, poets are the final judges of poetry.

I've got some good news, and I know you'll be glad with me. The Macmillans are rushing work on a school edition of "Glass". The book, which will have a map, an historical introduction and a set of notes for study, will be out by May 15th at the latest. The publishers seem to be very hopeful about the possibilities; and the proposition does look mighty good.

Lord! If I could have seen you in the leopard skin, depositing the lady in the [?] and !! I'm s'prised at you, George! And I'm afraid you're one of them damn pagans! Your brief description of the Ball sounds like a torn page from Petronius! You cuss! I'm afraid you had been drinking!

Can't you plan some way of getting Smith into the Big Fight? Couldn't you get him a job & lure him to the city? I'm not for cities, as a rule - I mean, I prefer to live in the country; but Smith is not well enough developed to stand living alone. It would be better for him to go to hell a bit in the accepted way than to stay where he is and cherish a myopic view of life. And he wouldn't need to go to the bad in the city. It would do him far more good than harm, I know. He has wonderful possibilities & ought to become all kinds of a poet. But he can't develop unless he loses himself in the human race. My God! Does he mope & mourn over life, when millions are on the ragged edge? Somehow, he must be knocked out of himself. You had much to do in making him the craftsman he is. He's one of your moons, and you ought to get after him & drag him into the open, if it can be done.

I have noticed a good deal of your other moon, Jennings, lately; and I admire him a lot. You ought to be proud of him. He seems to be growing rather satisfactorily, too. Don't you think so? His spine seems to be all right. But something should be done for Smith.

Always affectionately,


Braithwaite is an ass. I have received his praise in liberal gobs but don't value it. He's tied up with the rhubarb-and-senna-passing clique down there.

P. S.

The sonnet is, of course, splendid. They all are. Someone should write a philosophical appreciation of your work, relating it to your life. I have thought of doing this myself, but couldn't find the time now. Would Robertson be likely to want to handle such a book — say 25 to 30,000 words — within the next two years? If so, I think I could get my friend, Dr. House, to undertake the job. House is a real Humanist and a fine, sensitive spirit. He gloats over your stuff, and I believe he'd undertake the job. He would do a fine thing, I know.

Sound Robertson in regard to this.