New Canaan, Connecticut
16 March ‘28
letter is mostest welcome: Miss you? Verily! You see
we have both been doing the same thing at the same time.
What more would one—or could? Up to my eyes in a feverish
activity of destruction. Have been destroying poets.
And despoiling them of their immortality! Revising the
Book of American Verse,1
and have cut out a hundred pages of dead wood. Including
10 pages of Poe.2
Fearful rubbish. Was there ever a more over-rated poet?
Poor chap! But most of him is too
punky. And I am putting in newer stuff. Making an entirely
different work, much better. My own initiative, and
the Press agreed. Want to have it done by end of month.
Then more feverish haste
on the Canadian Book.3
you bought a new wrap! Perfectly right thing to
do. You are a sane darling, though quite insane
in the common eye in this instance. But one must live
Beauty for us, or we perish.
enclosed is an interesting sidelight.4
I loved mathematics because I seemed to be arriving
at real truth. Formal Logic was the one subject I made
a perfect mark in. Compare Millay’s sonnet on Euclid,
"Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare."
wanted in N.B. in May for Centennial of University.6
Oration. How fantastic! Much rather go to the Wellington
Arms7 or elsewhere.
are a darling as ever, and I am fast to your string
more than that. Hardly anyone else has the insight,
caring and devotion—all so undeserved. Certainly no
essay8 must be
beautiful. I fear to see it.
have never read Shepard’s book9
wholly yet, nor Lee’s.10
I glance between the leaves, and sip a line of approval,
then dash away in embarrassment.
doesn’t seem quite decent to read of oneself.
I promise to read your every word.
Oxford Book of American Verse (see Letter 44
Allan Poe (1809-1842), the American poet, short-story
writer, and literary critic whose best-known poems
include "The Raven" (1845), "To Helen"
(1848), and "The Bells" (1849). [back]
projected "Oxford Book of Canadian Verse"
(see Letter 51 n.10). [back]
enclosure remains with the letter. [back]
is directing Lawrence to "Euclid alone has
looked on Beauty bare" (1920) by the American
poet Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950). The final
four lines of the sonnet read: "Euclid alone
/ Has looked on Beauty bare. Fortunate they / Who,
though once only and then but far away, / Have heard
her massive sandal set on stone." [back]
University of New Brunswick, where Carman did his
B.A. between 1878 and 1881, was founded in 1785
as the Provincial Academy of Arts and Sciences,
but it did not receive a provincial charter until
1800. In 1828 it was granted a royal charter under
the name of King’s College and in 1859 it was reconstituted
as the University of New Brunswick. It was the centennial
of the royal charter that Carman helped to celebrate
as the principal speaker in the encaenia of May
17-18, 1928. [back]
a letter of March 3, 1928, Lawrence tells Carman
that her essay on him is progressing well and should
be finished by the seventh of the month. She also
characterizes it as less of a factual narrative
than a spiritual drama. [back]
Shepard’s Bliss Carman (1923) (see Letter
51 n.6). [back]
Lee’s Bliss Carman: a Study in Canadian Poetry
(1912), the first book-length treatment of the
poet. Lee (1879- ?) was a Scottish teacher and his
book is his doctoral thesis from the University
of Rennes in France. Carman corresponded with him
for several years beginning in 1910, when he wrote
requesting information for his thesis (see Letters