Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 22


New Canaan, Connecticut

25. October. 1927



Margaret darling, if possible, your letters grow more wonderful and amazing. I mean in what they make of me. As you say—here we are. Oh, yes! And by the grace of our angels here we abide, and from here we look forward. I am amazingly at peace. Nothing can matter now. I did not know there could be such understanding and fondness as you give and I feel, without the terror of misgiving as to some future, and without any fear of disaster or separation. All it needs as you say is a few days to grow human.

Your long letter as to your Geordino1 I am very glad to have. I did not know how you have been hurt in Toronto, but I understand. I always have liked the text—"Fret not thyself because of evil-doers."2 But I think there should be another text "Fret not thyself because of the self-righteous." Only it is not as easy as that[.] They won’t let us ignore them. When I think how you must have been cruelly treated, and when I think of your teacher and his blessed smile, I could weep. Dearest thing! Never mind now. You can always come here for understanding and never ever be afraid of being anything but free.

The past few days here have been like the Eternal heaven. If there is a thing on God’s footstool3 more beautiful than April-May in New England, it is the same region in October. All day yesterday I tramped the woodland trails in the golden light. How wonderful it will be when you see it. Too fine for this earth, and quite incredible.

But before that happens we have some more immediate things to do. I must go South soon.4 I have about a dozen dates already in the Carolinas &Texas. And you must get out of Toronto[.] As far as I can know I think you are very wise. But I should not advise New York yet. Too difficult for a beginner alone. Too desolate. And I should think Montreal better. Write to John Murray Gibbon, C.P.R. Offices, Windsor Station, Montreal.5 And descend upon him. He will introduce you to the Canadian Authors6 there. If you need a place to stay at first, I found the "Patricia" on the square opposite the Windsor Hotel fairly good. But maybe you know the City.

My dear I laughed at your account of going to the Campbell’s party.7 Delicious description. And me! Oh, yes I saw you from inside my home. But the shutters were closed and I only looked between the slats. I was one of a foursome dinner party and dutiful as always. But I did see the sunny head, though the blinds were not run up. Even when you came into the hall to bid us good night, I hardly looked higher than your chin. Ah, well, thank goodness the windows need never be closed again.

You are most precious. And near. And I know the understanding is perfect. Indeed it is more than understanding. All the serenity of the seraphs. Poor Krishna and his inward strife! But at the thought of you a great calm settles over him, and he can rest like a tired child.8 Only my sister9 and April10 have ever seemed like that. Isn’t it strange. But you must not feel bound by all you are doing for me and giving me. Only feel like a small child being loved. And keep on being loved!

More soon—ever and ever



  1. Caesar George Finn (see Letter 4 n.6), whose musical career Lawrence describes in some detail in a letter of October 19, 1927. [back]

  2. Proverbs 24.19: "Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked. . . ." [back]

  3. Cf. Pope, Essay on Man 1: 139-40: "‘Seas roll to waft me, suns to light my rise; / My foot-stool earth, my canopy the skies.’" [back]

  4. See Letter 4 n.2 and Letters 25-41. [back]

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

  6. The Canadian Authors Association, founded in 1921 with John Murray Gibbon as its first president, had a branch in Montreal. [back]

  7. See Letter 11 n.3. [back]

  8. Carman is identifying himself either with Jiddu Krishnamurti (see Letters 2, 5, and 7) or, perhaps, with the Hindu god Krishna, who sometimes takes the form of a child. [back]

  9. Jean Murray (Muriel) Carman (later Ganong) (1863-1920). See Letter 20 ns 1 and 2. [back]

  10. April was one of Carman’s pet names for Mary Perry King. He devoted numerous poems and essays to the rejuvenating effect of the month of April; see, for example, "Spring Song" in Songs from Vagabondia (1894) and "The Vernal Ides" and "April in Town" in The Kinship of Nature (1903). [back]