Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 21


New Canaan, Connecticut

16. October. 1927



Dear Darling: Certainly I will write to Murray Gibbon1 at once. He is a beloved and lovable "Jack of Hearts" to me, and most approachable. It will be an easy letter to write, as I wholly believe in your capacity and ability to be of service to him—as I shall say. I am delighted at the prospect. Just what you need. Some congenial tasks that will give you sweet bread and butter and not detach you from your chosen field. I would on no account see you forced to abandon your writing. And Canada must find you a place somewhere, as I believe she will.

Also it will be finely advantageous for you and your future to see as much of Canada as possible. Indeed imperatively necessary. Work with the C.P.R. should give you a fine start, and allow you to live at times in Quebec and Montreal, as well as to visit the West. Murray Gibbon did invaluable things for Morris Longstreth,2 author of Books on the Catskills and Adirondacks. He suggested the Book on the Laurentians and the North Shore of Superior which Longstreth did. And also the story of the Mounted Police which is not yet finished.

You must know New York too for a brief residence, for you will need to know Americans on their own ground—and not New York only. N.Y. is the best and only place on this side of the sea for painters and musicians to settle and make their beginning fight. The only place where they can hear and see enough. But for a writer I don’t think it necessary to the same extent,—unless he or she were training for newspaper work or in need of an editorial desk job—which would be the last thing for you. Deadly. All you need is short experience of N.Y., Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, New Orleans &c, and in time a longer experience of London—the unique capital of the world.

Please be sure to read the opening article of the October Atlantic.3 Then you will know just what all old-race Americans feel about England, and just what I feel about America. Why I am fond of true Americans and why I deplore so much of the present trend of affairs here to-day. As the author does. It is a fine essay.

High hopes and best wishes!

You are a darling Margaret.



  1. See Letter 7 n.3. [back]

  2. Thomas Morris Longstreth (1886-?), the American author of numerous travel guides, natural histories, and other works, including The Catskills (1918), The Adirondacks (1922), The Laurentians (1922), The Lake Superior Country (1924), and The Silent Force: Scenes from the Life of the Mounted Police of Canada (1927). [back]

  3. James Truslow Adams, "Home Thoughts from Abroad," Atlantic Monthly 140 (October, 1927), 433-45. [back]