New Canaan, Connecticut
25. Feb. 1928
half-typed letter is here.1
I must answer at once if I am ever to keep even on this
elegant and immortal correspondence. So many thanks
for all your wise suggestions & offers of help in
the new anthol.2
I shall need it. But I make my own choice from myself3
as well as from others. Who ever doesn’t like it can
damn me and be damned. I have had enough of other peoples
tempted to make you my dragon. Anyone who even wants
to be included will have to pass the flaming Margaret
first, and then be considered by the old stuffed Poo-Bah4
[sic] himself! What?
I wouldn’t expect Katharine5
to be rightly appreciative of you. Not up to it, old
dear! (Meaning you,
old dear! and meaning her or she "not up to")
"If you know what I mean!"
I never meant she is an eminent poet nor even near great.
I only meant the most modern and without affectation
in her stuff. Of course no poet (or pote) ever includes
in any generalization, even when he is critical.
am fed up on "poetry and style", both as taster
and dabster. Hence I turn modern, but not
unintelligible! Also, consider that I am near despair
at the mass of desperate rubbish in print under the
guise of poetry. How much of Garvin’s book6
or Campbells’ Canadian Anthology7
would you really care to keep? Yes, how much could you
stand to read again. How many (how few) of these contributors
ever rise above doggerel?
saddest disappointment was my dear Duncan.8
I loved his first volume, chiefly for one poem, years
ago. And have loved him for it ever since. And now it
was very disappointing to find so few notable poems
added to the first burst of lyric genius. Of course
it is easily explained in his case—a too-busy life.
Now as I can hardly hope for a free hand in my own stuff
nor in C.G.D.R.’s,9
owing to copyright. It is rather a wet blanket. However—I
shall try to be in Toronto when my one noble Krishna10
transfers his hospitable petticoatorium back from the
West to the one and only Queen City, the land of the
free and the home of the chased. No doubt I shall need
his protecting arm—to say nothing of yours! (In the
else in Canadian poetry is distinctly modern beside
the flashing Katharine? Constance,11
of course with her Indian stuff. None else. If there
is, show it to me.
feel as you do about collections, somewhat envious;
but more amazed at the mizer’s instinct. I have nothing
like a set of my own things, and often wish I had a
copy of some old volume to give away, when it is out
of print. Your lose [sic]-leaf12
plan is the only way. I have little hope of a collected
or selected edition.
God’s sake, don’t cry over old poems, darling child.13
It is all so long ago. Life seemed so sad then. The
sorrows of youth, before the soul has grown enured to
this faulty world. And now, when one should be duly
toughened,—the very thought of loss of a friend is not
to be endured! So here we are.
What a shame! A bunch bestowed on the barber only yesterday.
But it is much
nicer now, and younger!
enclose a new sonnet.14
How about it?
to the last ash,
letter of February 23, 1928. [back]
projected "Oxford Book of Canadian Verse."
See Letter 51 n.10. [back]
her letter of February 23, Lawrence suggests that
the poems of Carman to be included in the anthology
might be chosen by someone other than himself. The
critics of Canadian literature that she suggests
for the task are R.H. Hathaway (the editor of Carman’s
Later Poems ), Archibald MacMechan
(the author of Head-Waters of Canadian Literature
), and J.D. Logan (the author, with Donald
G. French, of Highways of Canadian Literature:
a Synoptic Introduction to the Literary History
of Canada (English) from 1760 to 1924 [1924,
is referring to the character in The Mikado (1885)
by W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan who fills many
offices inefficiently. [back]
Hale. See Letter 47 n.5. In her letter of February
23, Lawrence indicates that her promotional article
on Hale has not met with its subject’s approval.
Poets and Poetry (1916; rev. ed. 1926), edited
by John William Garvin (1859-1935), a Toronto teacher
and publisher, and the husband of Katherine Hale.
Oxford Book of Canadian Verse (1913; rpt. 1976),
edited by William Wilfred Campbell (1858-1918),
the Ontario-born poet and free-thinking Anglican
priest who, with Lampman and Scott, constituted
the Ottawa group of the Confederation poets. See
Carl F. Klinck, Wilfred Campbell: a Study in
Late Provincial Victorianism (1942; rpt. 1977)
and George Wicken, Wilfred Campbell (Downsview:
ECW Press, 1983). [back]
Campbell Scott, whose first volume was The Magic
House, and Other Poems (1893) (see Letter 54
G.D. Roberts’s (see Letter 41 n.1). [back]
Krishnamurti (see Letter 2 n.1 and Letter 5 n.8).
Lindsay Skinner (1879-1936), the British Columbia-born
editor, novelist, and poet whose "Songs of
the Coast Dwellers," a series of free-verse
poems treating of the Natives of her native province,
was published in the October, 1914 issue of Poetry
(Chicago). The series was later expanded into
Songs of the Coast Dwellers (1930). Her essay
on "The Indian as Poet" appears in The
Path on the Rainbow: an Anthology of Songs and Chants
from the Indians of North America, ed. George
W. Cronyn (1918). 341-47. [back]
her letter of February 23, Lawrence mentions that
she is making a loose-leafed collection of her favourite
Carman poems. [back]
the same letter, Lawrence tells Carman that she
has been crying over his poem "In the Heart
of the Hills" (in By the Aurelian Wall,
and Other Elegies. ) and asks him to tell
her for whom it was written. [back]
is likely that Carman enclosed with this letter
the revised typescript entitled "The Sun Room"
that is reproduced as Appendix B in the present
edition. "The Sun Room" was first published
in Sanctuary: Sunshine House Sonnets (1929).
Letter 34 n.5 and Letters 40, 44, 45, 48, and 54.