Dear Sterling:-

I have just returned from a month's trip, and will not go out again until January - and then for only a week. I'll not be on the Coast this winter, but I do appreciate your desire to help me to an engagement in S.F. Perhaps the thing could be put over next season. Keep it in mind. Many thanks, Old Man!

I note what you say about genius. I wish we could discuss the matter in talk. The word would have to be defined, of course, before we could get anywhere. I'd accept the description given by Myers in Human Personality. Certainly you would not insist that genius never plods. It plods, with the aid of many minor inspirations - or uprushes- by way of working out the original major inspiration. Even in lyrics written at white heat, I'd say that conscious labor is there in proportion to the size of the job; though, naturally, in lyrics, the unconscious work predominates. It couldn't be the same in works of large structure.

I rather think we'd agree on the subject if we could talk it over quietly.

Now I'm going to say something that will flabbergast you, but I think I'm right. I believe a good deal of nonsense is talked about Poe and Whitman; it seems to be the fashion. I believe that if there were a machine capable of registering poetic values, your own product would register far above that of Poe's. Historically, Poe's poetry is in a position of strategic importance that misleads professors.

I'm glad for the poems you sent me. You go right on with the same exquisite quality; and you will go right on with that quality to the last. Your next volume will be golden.

I'm glad you feel young at 55. Sometimes I wonder if I feel a little old at 43. Perhaps I shall feel younger later on. God knows I don't think feeling old is a good sign. But won't it be bully to die and FIND OUT - that is, after one has come to know that he has definitely shot his wad?

I have a brother-in-law, Richard A. Martinsen, who has lately taken charge of the Book Page on the Santa Barbara Morning Press. A good many writers in various parts of the country have been writing him a word of greeting and wishing him luck. He is a brilliant young cuss - a cosmopolitan - and he'll write a lively page. Would you mind dropping him a line? It would help him. He admires your work, as I happen to know.

I was after grouse up in the sand hills of Nebraska a short while ago. Lots of fun. Some grouse.

Yours always,

Jno. N.