New Canaan, Connecticut
5. Oct. 1927
letter you send to-day with the photograph of the cast
is the most precious and sacred of all.1
But for the horrible incident I am boiling over with
As there is no one to set me back off the stove, I am
not going to say any more about it until I simmer down
a little. I will say a word about the photos I sent
and take time to cool off.
am afraid I have no very good full face such as you
want. The Pirie MacDonald portrait is old of course,
but the one of all others I prefer, and the likeliest
to publish. The two by Spurr taken in Pasadena two years
ago, are by far the best recent ones. I have good prints
of all three, if you like any one especially. And there
are two more Spurr [—] portraits fine photographically,
but not so simple as these.
don’t send any youthful ones, as I fear you couldn’t
stand them! Youth is so susceptible!!
is an enormous collection here of all times, ages, and
places, which you will see when you drive down on your
exploration of New England.
in view of your acquaintance red-eyed sentry and others,
I would say it would be the part of wisdom to keep these
precious relics in your table drawer face down. All
but the Place of Vision.4
That is safe, because you can say it is LaSalle5
or any of you worthies taking a preview of Canada. Also
it is really the best portrait of all, as it sub-ordinates
the physiog (which is immaterial) to the environment
(which is vital in pictures of poets.)
woodlander I include is one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men,
He is in Sherwood Forest sighting the King’s deer. It
is really remarkably like one of your favorite poets.
Only your F.P.7
would have something better than a red deer in his mind’s
eye, and something better than a beech-tree bole to
lean against—if I
know anything about F.P.s.
very soon—and after
the first of two letters of October 3, 1927, Lawrence
tells Carman of being accosted by a young Jewish
lawyer during and after a party that took place
the previous evening in the Toronto home of Emma
Goldman (see Introduction xvi and Letter 17 n.2).
In her second letter, written in the evening, the
earlier letter is characterized as an intemperate
but therapeutic outburst of feeling. [back]
Carman enclosed three photographs with Letter 15:
the 1903 portrait by the New York photographer Pirie
MacDonald that serves as the frontspiece in various
editions of Pipes of Pan (1902-1905; 1906),
and two taken during a stay in Pasadena, California
from January to March, 1925 (see Letters
326-27). Among the materials donated by Lawrence
to the University of Western Ontario are two photographs
by E. Willard Spurr of 165, North Madison Avenue,
Pasadena. Like the MacDonald portrait, both are
2: Bliss Carman in 1925. [back]
the back of the copy of this photograph in the
Lawrence bequest to Western, Carman has written
"See The Place of Vision In Far Horizons
Snapped by John Murray Gibbon / In the Canadian
Rockies Overlook[ing]" (subsequent words
trimmed off). Carman’s Far Horizons was
published in 1925. See also Letter 7 n.3 and Fig.
3: Carman at "The Place of Vision."
Cavelier de La Salle (1643-1687) was a French-born
fur trader and explorer of what is now the American
mid-West. In 1682 he descended the Mississippi
River to its mouth and in 1686 he was assassinated
by his own men during an expedition to establish
a base at the mouth of the Rio Grande. See also
Introduction xii. [back]
is referring to another of the photographs donated
by Lawrence to Western (see Fig. 4). "Willie
Longstaff" is a play on Carman’s first name
(see Letter 8 n.12), though it is difficult to
ignore the phallic dimension to the sobriquet.
4: "Willie Longstaff." [back]