New Canaan, Connecticut
Near Christmas ‘27
Dear Margaret Shiela.
Ages and eons of silence and the insuperable
performance of posting things, and the more terrible dread of forgetting
someone, the fallability [sic] of lists and address books, the countless
licking of stamps, and over all the thankgodfulness of having
so many to send things to.
In New York yesterday I saw John Murray Gibbon.1
He spoke about you and will see you in Toronto. I wish I could have
lunch today at Wellington Arms and REST.
And smoke and talk.
is doing very well[.] Oxford Press is very pleased. I hope you like
it[.] I have got off all my cards and books now except Texas, and will
finish that to-day.
No news yet about California and the New Year.3
May be here[.] Wish I could do a smashing good poem on the Southwest.
Don’t forget to read Toronto papers on Christmas
eve! Yesterday I was
Today I am anyone[:] Francois. Felipe. Megalcap.4
Very small and feble [sic][.] Cheer up and put the come hither in Murray
See Letter 7
Oxford Book of American Verse (1927), edited by Carman.
On Christmas Day, 1927, he told another correspondent that his
anthology was "just
out . . . after . . . [a]
long wait" (Letters 355). Far
from "doing well," it "was so widely criticized for
omissions and inclusions as well as for bad copy-editing that
[Carman] immediately began a revised version with the consent of the
Oxford University Press" (Gundy in Letters
hoping to visit California early in 1928 (see Letters 47, 56, and
François Villon (see Letters 36 n.5 and Letter 40) and Felipe from
San Felipe (?) (see Letter 43). If, as seems very likely, Carman
included his Christmas card with this letter, "Megalcap"
("Megal" meaning big) perhaps refers to the figure
depicted on the card, an elderly and jovial man clutching a base
fiddle and wearing a gray top-hat. The figure is labelled
"Willie Carman." The card is inscribed "Margaret
Lawrence thinks he is an old dear, and has just slipped a piece of
mince pie in his pocket. He will now give her a few Victorian
airs." The card is contained in the Lawrence bequest at
Western. Its envelope is inscribed "Xmas 1927." See also
Introduction x and Fig. 5 for Carman’s fondness for
"wide-brimmed hat[s]." [back]