Dear Dr. Neihardt

I saw Ron Hull last week for the first time in several weeks, and told him how much I enjoyed the splendid program in which you and he visited Bancroft, discussed your work there, and toured the prayer garden. He told me that you were living in Lincoln for the present, and suggested that I convey to you my appreciation. I am very happy to do so.

The program was one of the most compelling and poignant I have ever seen, and I was deeply moved when you read aloud the prairie fire stanzas from The Song of Three Friends. Your explanation of the prayer garden, its meaning, and your exposition of your faith was most reassuring, and a reminder that faith is not anachronistic to the literary tradition.

I have enjoyed and admired your poetry since I first studied the Song of Hugh Glass in my high school English courses at Hastings. Since then, I have made a determined effort to familiarize myself with your work, and you have brought to me the pleasure of many happy hours. If, by telling you how much I enjoyed the program, I can in some small measure give you pleasure, as your poetry has given me for 20 years, I will feel that some taken payment has been made on a debt that can never be repaid.

I hope that it will be possible for you to continue to appear on KVON-TV. I would love to hear you discourse at length on your Western epics, and I told Ron so. They are, in my mind, a great part of our frontier heritage.

I did not intend to write a note full of cloying sentiment. I hope I have not done so. I did mean to tell you both how much I admire your poetry, and how much I enjoyed the opportunity to see you, even if only on TV. I hope I succeeded.


James Hewitt