New Canaan, Connecticut
13. Nov 1928
Margaret: "The Tradition of Marriage"1
is here. ‘Tis a fine essay, very fine indeed. It has
wisdom, sense, and great truth, also an admirable modern
and individual style. You should be able to go anywhere
now. I am delighted.
as to the rest of your letter, and as to my tour.2
Reports are usually colored to suit the age of
romance in which we live; and I know the aptness of
poets to paint in vivid hues. My dear, it was an epic
of the soul. To return to the Happy Valley after a lifetime!
Not even knowing if any of the old friends were alive,
and knowing many were not. Then to be gathered in and
made to forget the years as if they were not, and by
those I did not know existed. Too much for me, my dear.
A weeping sentimentalist, as you must know. Heaven is
my home doubtless. But Halifax is my haven. I will tell
you more again, or as much as you can bear of expatiating
rapture! Meanwhile bear in mind that what little birds
tell is often foreign language—foreign to facts.
do hope for the Victoria trip.3
be grand. And good all round. Don’t fail to talk with
Walter C. Nichol4
in Victoria. He is ex-Governor and a great friend of
mine. I’ll write him, if you go.
Vancouver are lots of my friends. You will be at home.
My home is with Dr. Fewster(G.P.)5
2590 Fifth Ave. West (Vancouver) and he will do anything
for you. They will take you in and you will be as theirs.
They will find you a suitable place to stay. Don’t worry.
And don’t hurry back!
I cannot go West with you. I am due in Minneapolis (University
of Minnesota) about 5th Jan. for two weeks. Then Winnipeg
two weeks, then Saskatoon two weeks.6
now am up to the ears in toil. I do wish you
would write and [sic] article on Villon7
out the resemblances as you
see them. If explicit, you might raise hell, and float
with success on a tide of contumely!! Since you think
I am a tradition! Might as well be a vivid one (to say
shall ask to have you sent some of the Song Sheets which
are coming out from the Abanaki Press in Halifax.8
They are not bad. May start something.
chance of Toronto. Too driven with other demands.
always, dear Margaret
an essay by Lawrence, but not located. [back]
reading tour of the Maritimes in October, 1928 (see
Letter 70 n.3). [back]
Lawrence was hoping to visit Victoria, BC. [back]
Cameron Nichol (1866-1928) was a businessman, the
owner of the Vancouver Province, and the
lieutenant governor of British Columbia from 1921
to 1926. Carman came to know Nichol when he visited
Victoria on a reading tour in 1922 (see Letters,
281 and f.) and he dedicated Far Horizons
(1925) to him "in Happy Remembrance of a Fine
Fewster (General Practitioner) (see Letter 8 n.13).
is anticipating the "month of lecturing"
that he undertook in January and February, 1929:
"two weeks in the University of Minnesota [in
Minneapolis] . . . two . . . in
the University of Manitoba . . . Saskatchewan
University for two weeks—then probably to the coast"
of California for a vacation (Letters 366).
Villon (see Letter 34 n.5 and Letters 40, 44, 45,
48, 54, 55, and 77). [back]
his tour of the Maritimes in October, 1928 (see
Letter 70 n.3), Carman and a number of other poets
with roots in the region—Charles G.D. Roberts (see
Letter 41 n.1), Robert Norwood (see Letter 67 n.3),
and Andrew Merkel (1884-1954)—conceived of the idea
of publishing a series of poetic "song sheets"
under the imprint of the fictitious "Abenaki
Press" (a name chosen for its Native resonances).
The resulting "Nova Scotia Catches" and
"Song Fishermen’s Song Sheets" had little
impact outside the Maritimes but served as a vehicle
for two younger Nova Scotian poets, Charles Bruce
(1906-1971) and Kenneth Leslie (1892-1974). [back]