Mr. Robert D. Paslay 855 S. Federal Highway Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Dear Mr. Paslay:

I was very glad to receive your enthusiastic letter regarding your discovery of my CYCLE OF THE WEST. I am always happy when somebody discovers something I have done.

I hope you are in the habit of reading poetry aloud or at least that you read the CYCLE aloud. Poetry is a vocal art and needs to be heard. The technique that I have developed for the CYCLE is especially adapted to oral reading. I note that you mention especially the death of Crazy Horse. I give a great many readings of my poetry over the country, and always when I recite the death of Crazy Horse I notice handkerchiefs being used in the audience.

I should like to hear your comment on the final section of THE SONG OF THE MESSIAH, which is descriptive of the tragedy at Wounded Knee.

I think you may not have noted the progressions in the CYCLE. There is the geographic progression from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. Then there is the historic progression from 1822 to 1890. The third progression is most important, being spiritual, rising from the dead level of physical courage and ending with the utter loss of everything but spiritual reality. THE SONG OF THE MESSIAH is really the story of the continuing crucifixion of mankind by man. You will note how the last line has no rhyme because nothing is finished, not even the crucifixion. I was once asked in a public reading: "What is the everlasting word?" I answered, "You tell me. It may be love."

You say that you heard the Dick Cavett-Neihardt show of a year ago and I suppose you will want to hear it again from what you say. Happily, it is scheduled on the ABC network for June 12.

My autobiography entitiled ALL IS BUT A BEGINNING is being published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich of New York on September 20. Dick Cavett has written an introduction, I understand.

I hope that I may hear from you again and I suspect that I may. Many thanks for your kindness.

With best wishes,

John G. Neihardt

Mrs. Young, who takes care of most of my correspondence and keeps in touch with my friends over the country, tells me she has sent you some data sheets that may interest you.