4 February 1976
I feel, yes, that you are with me often in thought. As to financial matters, I cannot think well into the future as to them-and that is the essence of ‘finance‘, the pushing out of the present futurewards, somewhat, and somewhat. May your prospect of selling your house the not too much in the invisible areas of the future. I keep the question of selling my place in partial view. If I could sell it, there would be a question of a new where altogether unimaginable to me; that there is much possible that is not imaginable.—As to yourselves, I comprehend almost nothing of your practical circumstances, I feel that you are mobile-minded about the difficulties, not locked up in them.—Yes, you are right about that Epiloguepassage: there is a ‘not’ missing. Thanks! I’ll make a note about this. In reading the ‘Correspondence’, bear it in your consciousness that much of what Graves contributes I had to give, or help him with. No one can do anything about that, except myself, a little. But perhaps where there is interest in this piece, stirring interest, this will suggest itself. –As to a poem’s being truth: it would be well if you were careful to not reformulate what I said as to poems, and truth, poetry and truth. I meant no flat a poem=truth. I meant, the kind of saying that a poem is, the character of poetry is pointed mode of speaking, is of the truth kind, is of the truth character. My presentation was not a fiat, but the definition of the poetic speaking area. That area I found to be a constriction as you know. For my later work, you have only besides my preface toSelected Poems, that, and The Telling, the magazine pieces. Alan ought to be able to help you as to these. Chelsea # 35 ought to be useful—but it may not be out till late summer, early autumn. Current Antaeus has a contribution from me in an opinion, collection on ‘Neglected Books’; next issue will have an essay of mine on Bertrand Russell And Others: the Cult of the Master-Mind, one of. You have seen the latest Denver Quarterly contribution of mine. I suggest as to 14A, Convalescent Conversations, that you keep them as, sort-of, notes. Be careful: I do not acknowledge the authorship in Barbara Rich. I have put notices in libraries as to Graves’ announcement of this as collaboration by me and him: he has no authority from me for this. One day, I shall touch on this, but, the most you should say, if you want to say anything, is something of the sense that I have written above. Couldn’t Alan help you with Progress of Stories? Have you seen Experts Are Puzzled, Four Unposted Letters to Catherine?—It would comfort me to see George [Fraser] rising life-size out of the mists that he allowed to fall in our relationship. I am grateful for your telling me what you told in your letter as to this apparent resoluteness in facing the actuality of my work, borne in upon him by yours upon it. Perhaps it was of direct experience of it that propelled him into the departure from the close personal relationship that it started to form, between us. He did face into The Telling but with much reliance of literary parallelizing of it with this and that. As to his reading of my books. I think he needs a mixing of the earlier and later, if he is substantially, now, interested, in knowing about my-work-and-me as one. That he is well, and well for work, gives me happiness, in my thought. And so the good man A. R. Humphries has ‘retired’!—I am not clear as to your relationship to York; may the coming of your tutor there to Leicester university be good for it, and your own connection with it, and for George, and Mr. Cunningham. Of course, I am pleased about the possibility of your dissertation’s achieving distinction status!—(a graduate student of N.Y.U., a woman [Barbara Adams] has started on a dissertation on my work—I am uncomfortable about this. Her professor M. L. Rosenthal, a critic who has written I think stupidly on me in an article on another poet—Alan ought to have a copy of this?— Massachusetts Review, with my letter on it—Her approval: enthusiastic as to my ‘wit and humor’ and Kafka-likeness (oh, oh, in Progress of Stories, and she tells me that she ‘too’ writes poetry, I am holding the reins tight as to the matter of my accessibility). Bless you for making company with me, in thought-talk, feeling. Yes, it was my 75th birthday. Thank you for the special thinking on that.—In a while I shall be looking again at that list of queries as to my life-course, providing what seems to me likely to be useful to you for the dissertation ( first of all—greeting of love—to you two—and Three. L.
As to the TLS matter, further. I have not had word yet as to whether they will or not use my letter. But I am going to send something on that [Ruth] Padel letter of June 30 on me.