Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 42

New Canaan, Connecticut

11. Dec. 1927



Dear Margaret: So many thanks for the letter—and more for the Toronto visit. It was lovely to see you. I only am sorry I was so jaded, and hardly once felt any of the usual lightness and impertinence which you must have known was hidden somewhere.1 Yes, of course we were immersed in the social. The fate of all, apparently! Alas. However the few moments leisure were precious. The Wellington Arms was a haven in the Toronotonian desert. Huron Street2 was certainly kindness itself, and Giordino’s musical3 a rare treat after a month in the rare atmosphere of the academic—a trial to me. I loved the music and the people of our own kind—O immensely. I thought of you so much through it all, and feared you were solitary and not having a good time. I wanted you to laugh. But I suppose you haven’t the earthly strain of jesting that saves the day for me so often. Was your friend Francois4 a ribald or at least a Falstaffian drole?5

Would you be happier if you boiled over more readily?

Well, my dear, I found a bushel of letters—some welcome business—and now swamped by them.


Love always—and I am not rested yet—


  1. In a letter of December 14, 1927, Lawrence comments sympathetically on Carman’s tiredness and lack of joie de vivre at their meeting in Toronto. [back]

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

  3. An unidentified composition by Caesar George Finn (see Letter 4 n.6). [back]

  4. François Villon (see Letter 34 n.5 and Letter 40 n.1). [back]

  5. Sir John Falstaff is the fat, boastful, good humoured and witty old knight of Shakespeare’s Henry 1V. He also appears in The Merry Wives of Windsor, but as a much sadder character. [back]