Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 33

The Texas

Fort Worth Texas

11. November. 1927



Dear Margaret dear! You see from the heading we are still in the land of the free and the home of the brave1óbut not in the land of the free lunch any more. Every city has to have its six-hundred room hotel with its orchestra at dinner and its Rotary Club luncheon. So it goes.

New Orleans was very untidy and very dirty, but also very interesting in the old French quarter. Plenty of interesting real folk there too, though an academic set is not the easiest way to come into contact with artistic or literary folkówhen there are any.

At my reading in New Orleans there appeared two ladies who were inclined to poetry, and one of whom had known friends of mine in New York. After the reading they we[re] good enough to offer to drive me back to my hotel. As we were going through a lovely park they said "How about a little drink?" I at once gave thanks to the Lord with rejoicing, as I was really perishing of thirst. They stopped at a friendís almost immediately and we all sat on a shaded porch overlooking the beautiful great quiet park and lapped up gin and lemonade, with immense thankful[ness] from one member of the company at least.

There are some things that professors donít know! It was one of the bright spots in the tour.

I came on here yesterday after about seventeen hours on the train. The hops between readings are enormous. And when I am not on the job, time is rather heavy on my hands. Many of these dates are at rather small religious denominational colleges,2 all very interested and civil but sometimes somewhat limited I fancy.

I have been out for a motor ride this forenoon, seeing Texas. From high points there is always a fine wide prospect like our prairies. The City is very clean and orderly and unlike New Orleans. I have not heard of any French restaurants yet.

Donít know yet when I will be through with this trip or where I go from here, when I am through. But I dare say I shall be back in the North for Christmas.

But always there will be lots of love for beloved Margaret,





  1. Carman is alluding to the second stanza of "The Star-Spangled Banner" (1814) by Frances Scott Key. [back]

  2. At Fort Worth, Carman read at Texas Christian University, a co-educational institution founded in 1873 as Add-Rann Christian College and affiliated with the Church of Disciples of Christ. [back]