February 9 1974
Your letter February 3rd has just come to me, Mark. I have been looking for it intently. I now rest and I shall be increasingly consoled, over this further crisis’ softening into a gain of discovering, and learning how to defeat, danger. And am with you all in your rejoicing.
I feel not only grateful, but glad, in your kindness to me at these junctures. I am very tired after a year of many trials of strength and health, and with a new year to propel through calls on both that are, apart from questions of difficulty, absent from none, incessant.
Please, note: I have asked Denver Quarterly to send George [Fraser] and yourself, each, a copy of the current issue, which contains an article by myself, with a presentation of poems also, a selection I made for them – they wanted a poems accompaniment The article touches on matter within your and George’s experience, and I felt that you should both see it, though you might be unhappy with one or more features of it. But when I learned last week of George’s new, and to be presumed grave, illness, I cancelled my request for a copy for him, thinking to wait and to send him one directly as sure recovery might come, and warrant this. But, may I change this plan? – Will you lend him your copy? I trusting you to do this according to your best judgement, in affection towards him, and recognition of my concern that he be not subjected to emotionally unsettling strains.
Please, also, note: I sent George a copy of Michael Kirkham’s article ‘Robert Graves’ Debt To Laura Riding’. He said he would pass it on to you. That you be not in any difficulty as to the possibility of disturbing him, if he does not think to do this, having not yet done it, I shall ask Mr. Kirkham to send you a copy. I had not thought to do this; but in a letter I received a few days ago from him (he is in England, on sabbatical leave from University of Toronto). He asked whether there were any in England to whom I should care to have the article sent; and he in particular asked for your name and address, wishing to send one to you – and asked for this, as he said, ‘anyway’. I cannot at this time write to you on the state of my relations with him, and view of his position as to my work. We are in a state of composed relations. There was not very many years ago a very active relationship of friendship, and devoted direction on his part towards intensive study of and writing on my work. Suddenly, and very surprisingly to me, the work, and the personal attachment, fell prey to conditions and circumstances of which I could form only the haziest conception, though [I] gradually have evaluated the influencing elements. In touching on this I mean no aspersion in his regard, but I feel a need in my desire to ensure as possible, absence of personalistic complications from your and my further relations (and such complications could, might, also involve George, as they did before, to inform you as to how it has been between him and me. I have covered it all, mostly, except as to his present application of himself to doing some righting of the record as to Robert Graves and myself, and of his own record as a proponent of the good worth of the poetry of Robert Graves.
It is good to know that, at any rate, you did get the message of the Christmas season. Will you have got, I wonder, my reply to your letter of last week? I gave you the dates of my recent letters to you. December 8, December 28, January 20, February 2. I make copies of most of my letters. If one or more of these has failed to reach you, tell me so.
Thank you for the word as to communication with Mrs. Wexler.
And I thank you for the good news of Luke [Jacobs], with good report joined to it of yourselves. And I value your wishes for myself in this year.
In a very short while I shall write again, on the subject I have introduced.
I am not going to have time to reread this before it is carried off for mailing. Excuse the textual roughness, therefore.