Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 10

Twilight Park

Haines Falls, N.Y.

21. September. 1927



Margaret dear, this is a day of days! Much cooler than our ordinary September but very clear and tonic. Only the hopelessly cranky could be down on such a day. So what of me? Ecstasy only. Because why? If weather and the beauty of earth were not enough,—here are you. Very you. And you seem to grow darlinger with every epistle. A very few more such letters as these you have utterly blessed this person with, and you will have passed the comparative and reached the superlative! Then what? O well there can be no final superlative, else there were an end to creation long since.

There is so much to say. "Could I make Toronto on my way to the West?"’ Why, dear thing, it sounds like a royal invitation—that is a command. I couldn’t do anything else, if I were going west.1 And I can hardly do anything else now that I am going south first. The laws of geography are not so easily set aside, and Toronto refuses to be on the line from New York to South Carolina where my first reading is, early in November. It seems we are to be harried by an even greater distance than at present! Alas! But thanks be to Allah, or whoever, nor space nor time can quite undo us. "Us" meaning Margaret and Carman.

I have been wishing that Toronto could happen once more before winter. But do not quite see how.

Yes, there was a two-volume collected edition, very handsome, some years ago.2 Limited and now long out of print. Don’t mourn. I’ll try to find you a set. If you want to collect me, that will be all right—but never mind trying to collect my "works"—I have lots more to do that maybe you will like better.

By the way when you find any of your pioneers who is balladish in character, you might introduce me to him,—after you have done with him, of course.

Have you read Trader Horn?3 It is Gorgeous [—] do see it.

You are a wise child. "Only with dignity may a free soul live in peace.["] I know. Such sad disaster follows the heedless[.]

This is only a brief note as I am in the midst of packing my dunnage for the return to the sea level.

But you inundate me with heavenly treasure, Margaret. There is nothing for it now but to send you love





  1. For details of Carman’s 1927 reading tour, see Letter 4 n.2 and Letters 23-41. [back]

  2. See Letter 8 n.10. [back]

  3. Trader Horn was the pseudonym of Alfred Aloysius Smith (1861-1931), a British writer and adventurer whose Life and Works of Alfred Aloysius Horn were published in three volumes in 1927-29. [back]