Dear Mott;-

I'm sorry that I didn't answer your question about the 3rd & 4th parts of the cycle. I seem to live half conscious. I told my wife the other day that I seem to be milking the cow all the time! Of course, I milk her only twice a day; but the time between is spent in what I call "a deep souse".

Well, here's the answer, and please forgive me:

  • 1st. The Song of Three Friends
  • 2nd. " Song of Hugh Glass up the Missouri with the bands out of which all the great Western explorers came.
  • 3rd. " Song of Jed Smith (following the epic movement through to the Pacific Ocean & the Spanish Settlements of Southern California)
  • 4th " Song of Mormons representing the period of migration of home-seekers)
  • 5th " Song of the Indian Wars (last fight for the bison pastures of the Central Plains, securing the way to the Coast)

Note progression, first, as to theme. Then note steady progression from individual adventures to the adventures of small groups, then, at last, to the larger groups & the final clash. It is plotted philosophically, you will note-- according to social evolution. "The Song of Jed Smith" deals with the wanderings of "The Splendid Wayfarers" (as set forth in detail in my prose book. The "Jed" poem will be (naturally, not imitatively) in the nature of an Odyssey.

I chose the Mormon episode (the Mormon migration) because it fell naturally into a rounded art-form, whereas the other migrations were unorganized, go-as-you-please, individualistic, not readily adaptable to the purposes of art.

Take my word for it, Mott, the "Indian Wars" will be a he-moose! I never had half the reserve power that I have now. Day after day I plow ahead, getting any effect I desire; and I'm surprised at the thing as it develops. I have nearly 1900 lines of it-- the best 1900 lines I've ever done. The thing is simple, direct -- and Lord! what material! What wonderful material!

Many thinks, Old Man, for your help in Idaho. What you said will make a splash out there.

Well, I'm an astonishingly luck cuss-so much to do & such friends to help me!