Bliss Carman's Letters to Margaret Lawrence 1927-1929

Edited by D.M.R. Bentley

Assisted by Margaret Maciejewski

Letter 49

New Canaan, Connecticut

28. January. 1928



Dearest Margaret, Sheila, Marie, Madeleine!1


First of all let me hasten to remind you that your new name is most honorable. The only thing against it is that seven devils were once cast out of that Mary.2 She was one of the several Marys who were enamoured of the gentle Lord, having been healed by him. She is often confused with that lady of facile virtue who crashed in upon the luncheon party when J.C. was beeing [sic] entertained by Simon the Pharisee, and insisted on making a fuss over the Master and spilling the pomade over his head.3 Poor thing, like so many of her ancient profession she had no name.

Proceed therefore on your virginal career without a qualm— unless perchance you can torture yourself into imagining you once were po[sse]ssed of any rudimentary evil spirit. And then I won’t believe it! Speaking of devils, my spirits of the gloom have temporarily departed, and may the Lord of all spirits consign them to Hades! I went to the City4 yesterday, after two or three weeks of the country, saw a number of folk, and had a cocktail for luncheon— and that helped some.

Now I shall try to answer one or two of the two million letters that await acknowledgement. Some never even get that.

Allah love you.

I found a philosophic theosophic bookshop also yesterday and got two new things by Krishnamurti.5


Ever and ever

with love



  1. "Magdaleine" or, as Carman has it, "Madeleine" (see Letter 48 n.1). [back]

  2. Luke 8.2: "Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils." [back]

  3. Carman is referring to two incidents: the anointment of Christ’s feet in the house of Simon the Pharisee by "a woman in the city, which was a sinner" (Luke 7.37-51) and the anointment of His head in the house of Simon the leper by a woman who is not so characterized (Matthew 26.6-13 and Mark 14.3-9). In John 12.1-8, the latter is named Mary and she anoints Christ’s feet rather than his hair. [back]

  4. New York. [back]

  5. See Letter 2 n.1 and Letter 5 n.8. Weeraperuma’s Bibliography of the Life and Teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti lists numerous books, poems, and articles published in 1927 and early 1928, including (all in 1927) The Kingdom of Happiness, The Pool of Wisdom, and The Meeting of East and West. [back]