October 5, 1931 – letter to A.D.R.

Oct. 5 [1931]

Dear Alice:

Your letter comes at the end of a day so atrociously busy and hustled that I simply cannot tap a key on the dratted machine; but I want to answer it right away, because I liked it so much; furthermore, since I don’t ever have air-mail envelopes on hand, it behooves me at least to be more or less prompt with my ordinary ones! Forgive the ___________ [line drawn in the shape of a shallow bell curve] effects: I am unspeakably tired, and my handwriting, as you know, doesn’t amount to much at the best of times.

First I want to mention Phoebe’s poem. I adored it. It is inexpressibly passionate and wistful, with a depth and a wildness to it—also, a preciseness of technique and structure (to be prosaic)—that convinces me that P.A.R. is rapidly growing up. What do you think?

I haven’t written a poem for __ years. I guess the fountain has gone rusty, and gotten choked up with stale moss. Pleasant thought, isn’t it? But at the best, I could never produce a poem like that of Phoebe’s. If I have any ability at all, it lies in prose, I think.

Your mother was a dear, brave soul. I like the little stanza you gave me. It was sad, because true. Almost everything that is true seems to be sad. There’s almost no magic in the world—in fact, even that “almost” is superfluous!

You might, sometime when you feel like it, give me a bit more out of B.R.’s letters. I do hope so much for him! His soul so gets the better of the world at every turn, that it seems as if his body must soar alongside, impelled upward, as it were.

About my job: it’s all right. We’re working now hellishly hard, because the Fall Conference is impending, and also because of a series of radio addresses on “Psychology Today” (drat psychology!) which we are getting under way.

The book progresseth slowly. You’ll see it, not too long from now.

I hadn’t thought about the farents for some time—bless their little wee souls!

I’m terribly, terribly glad that you feel me-ish at times. That helps more than you know, perhaps. How I would adore to see you! Well, one of these days….

Yours,
Barbara

P.S. No, he is not back.

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