13 April (1922): Yvor Winters to Harriet Monroe

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Here, Yvor Winters writes to Harriet Monroe, the editor and founding publisher of Poetry magazine, with a new poem.

[ca. April, 1922?]

Dear Miss Monroe: 

I am enclosing another poem to be consider along with my “Poems in Autumn” group and may send yet another in the course of time and again may not.

I hear that you have lost a couple of guarantors on account of Canevali. I am sorry, but pity them more than I do you.

           May hell wipe out divinities
           And a-cerebral infinities
           And other asininities,
           Praise hell, praise hell, praise hell

Which is the beginning of a chant to my Deity which I hope to complete some time ante mortem.

I hope you do not curse me a great deal for my haphazard way of sending in poems. Please don’t mail me a bomb, anyway. 

The two men in the cottage behind mine have been trapping for coyotes (I envy them their native faith) and have caught numerous magpies, one towhee, one golden eagle, which is now caged up behind their cottage, where it is impossible to let him loose without getting caught in the act. I have written them a letter purporting to come from the state game warden, however, and hope to scare them into letting him go.

If one were to write of pale lavender clouds in a pale green sky, people would say one was drunk or imitating Conrad Aiken, and yet I have seen this here. Curses be.

I have been acting as veterinary to an Airedale with distemper, and have been assistant nurse at the setting of a couple of magpie’s legs, and hope to trim the tails of the pups with the aforementioned Airedale is expected to have in the course of time, so life is not so bad here after all.

                A.Y. Winters

From The Selected Letters of Yvor Winters. Winters, Yvor, and R. L. Barth. Athens: Swallow Press/Ohio University Press, 2000.