5835 Vine Street Lincoln, Nebraska 68505
Dear Professor Yoken:

As my friend, Mrs. Young, has written you, I have had two operations on my eyes and have been recuperating for some weeks. I find myself able now to take up my correspondence. Your letters of November 29 and those in January and February have been read again--with delight, I need not to tell you. I see that I have neglected to answer your questions in a manner satisfactory to you, and so I will try again.

You asked what are my present activities, I am simply having the time of my life writing what is called my autobiography. I dislike the term and hardly know what to call it. The title will be "The Old Man Remembers." I have a farm five miles from Columbia, Missouri, where my daughter and I raise gaited horses and train them. For most of the past year I have been living with my friends, the Youngs, here and spending all my time on the book. It should be completed during this year--completed so far as it is possible for me to write a complete "autobiography." When I am at home I play with my dog and the horses. Also I have done a good deal of lapidary work in the past and enjoy it as I used to enjoy writing lyrics. That's as near as I can come to answering your first question.

Your second question asks who are my authors of predilection (American, English, French, etc.) The answer is simply that I no longer have any predilections. The time has been when I would have said the Greeks were my favorites, and after them, various others. But I have come to feel that my favorite is simply poetry itself, and I care very little who writes it. You see, this is the answer of an old man who has loved poetry for the better part of a century.

You asked also how I view the present world situation.

This is, of course, a tremendous question, but a fairly intelligent answer can be given. I spent nearly a quarter of a century writing criticism bearing on what was happening to our values. Someday I hope the best of these essays will be collected. If they ever are, they will give you a much better answer than I have for you now. My present answer is a brief one. We are in a period of cultural anarchy which began in this country in 1912. One sees the operation of the anarchic principle throughout our society. In the essays referred to, I trace the cause of our dominating time mood, beginning with the invention of the steam engine and following through the French Revolution and the triumph of the laissez faire theory.

I appreciate your attitude toward me more than I can tell you, and especially since you are a young man and will be going presumably long after after I am with my fathers.

Hoping we may meet some time.

Your friend,

John G. Neihardt