Marianne Craig Moore papers
Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Marianne Craig Moore was an award-winning modernist poet, writer, and critic known for her precise use of words, unusual style, and speech-like poetic rhythm. Marianne was born in Kirkwood, Missouri on November 15, 1887 to Mary Warner Moore and John Milton Moore. Because Moore's father suffered a mental breakdown prior to her birth, Marianne never knew him. She grew up in the house of her grandfather, John R. Warner, a Presbyterian minister.
After the death of Reverend Moore in 1894, Mary moved Marianne and her older brother, John, to Allegheny City, Pennsylvania and then to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to be closer to other relatives. Mary, John, and Marianne were extremely close and filled much of their spare time with reading. Mary taught English at the Metzger Institute in Carlisle, where Marianne received her initial education. A single mother, Mary worked so that John could attend college at Yale and Marianne could go to Bryn Mawr.
In 1904 and 1905, Marianne took entrance examinations in preparation for attending Bryn Mawr. She moved into her dormitory in the fall of 1905. Although she had wanted to be an English major, her professors refused to let her, saying that her writing was too obscure and that she consistently violated rules of grammar and language—two qualities that would be hallmarks of her modernist poetry. Despite her disappointment, Marianne continued to read avidly and wrote during her college years. She published short stories and poetry in Bryn Mawr's Tipyn o'Bob and Lantern. Marianne also had a keen interest in biology but was discouraged from majoring in the subject since her mother thought that biology was no profession for a lady. Animals and nature, however, were never far from her mind or her poetry. In the end, Marianne graduated in the Class of 1909 with a B.A. in history, economics, and politics.
After graduation, Marianne and her mother took a trip abroad. Her experiences overseas perceptibly influenced her poetry. Upon returning to the United States, Marianne attempted to have her poetry published. At the same time, she sought a job working for publishers or magazines. Failing on both fronts, she attended the Carlisle Commercial College to learn secretarial skills to become more qualified for work. Marianne got her first position working for Melvil Dewey as his secretary at the Lake Placid Club. She next worked as a teacher at the United States Indian School in Carlisle. While Marianne was teaching, she managed to find time to write. She was professionally published, at last, in 1915.
Marianne and her mother moved to New York City in 1918. With her mother always at her side, she churned out poetry, read voraciously, and interacted with other modernist poets. In 1920, Marianne was published ever more frequently in The Dial, a modernist magazine. Purchased by Scofield Thayer and J. Sibley Watson, Jr. in 1919, The Dial became a popular outlet for modernist thought, literature, and art. The art of Pablo Picasso, Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh, and Edvard Munch, among others, and the poetry of E.E. Cummings, William Carlos Williams, Ezra Pound, and W.B. Yeats, among others, were often featured in the magazine. In 1925, Thayer finally got Moore to agree to become acting editor of The Dial. Soon, she permanently replaced him. Moore was editor until 1929 when the magazine ceased publication. Until her death, Marianne would maintain a close friendship with J. Sibley Watson, Jr. and his wife Hildegarde.
During the 1930s and 1940s, Marianne was an active freelance writer and published books of her poetry. In 1947 she was devastated by the loss of her mother. The 1950s and 1960s brought Moore more fame and recognition. Her Collected Poems, published in 1951, won her the Bollingen Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Award. She was also the recipient of The National Medal for Literature, France's Croix de Chevalier, and sixteen honorary degrees. Until the onset of her final illness in 1969, Moore traveled, participated in numerous speaking engagements, and graciously offered advice to young writers. She died on February 5, 1972. In addition to being remembered as a groundbreaking poet, Marianne Moore is remembered for her captivating conversations, iconic tricorn cap, advocacy for the conservation of Prospect Park, and love for baseball and Brooklyn.
Bibliography Willis, Patricia C. 1987. Marianne Moore: Vision into Verse. Philadelphia: Rosenbach Museum and Library.
The Marianne Craig Moore papers is an artificial collection pertaining to Marianne Moore created from a wide range of materials contributed from a large number of individuals. The collection, which ranges from 1904 to 1991, includes correspondence, photographs, audio recordings, manuscripts and artwork, news clippings, ephemera, tribute poems to Moore by others, and reflections on Moore's life by those who knew her. The collection is extensive and illuminates all aspects of Moore's life.
The collection consists of eleven series: "Series I: Correspondence," "Series II: Photographs," "Series III: Audio Recordings," "Series IV: News Clippings and Ephemera," "Series V: Manuscripts," "Series VI: Published Works," "Series VII: Notes on the Life and Personality of MCM," "Series VIII: Tributes to MCM," "Series IX: Art by Marianne Moore," "Series X: Realia," and "Series XI: K. Laurence Stapleton Marianne Moore Papers."
"Series I: Correspondence" is divided into outgoing, incoming, and third party correspondence. It also includes Hildegarde and J. Sibley Watson's correspondence with Moore. For more information on the Watson's correspondence, refer to the separate finding aid. "Series II: Photographs" is divided into photographs of Marianne Moore, Moore's mother and brother, Gilbert Seldes, and the Watsons. "Series III: Audio Recordings" contains recordings of Marianne speaking at Cooper Hall, at the Colony House, and other places. It also contains some partial transcription of tapes and reels, and notes by Laurence Stapleton on Moore's conversations with Hildegarde Watson. "Series IV: News Clippings and Ephemera" contains a number of miscellaneous articles related to Moore, Bryn Mawr, and sports. The series is arranged alphabetically by topic. "Series V: Manuscripts" consists of poetry and prose by Moore, some of which is from the J. Sibley and Hildegarde Watson collection. "Series VI: Published Works" contains a bibliography of writings by Moore, as well as more of her poetry and prose. "Series VII: Notes on the Life and Personality of MCM" are written by Bernard Waldman and Hildegarde Watson and some miscellaneous people. "Series VIII: Tributes to Marianne Moore" come in the form of tribute art, tribute poems, and a 1991 Marianne Moore stamp. "Series IX: Art by Marianne Moore" contains several original sketches and watercolors by Moore. It also houses a photocopy of a reading diary of Moore's. "Series X: Realia" contains ephemera, including one of Moore's famous tricorn hats and long black capes. Note: these items are housed in the Art and Artifacts section of Bryn Mawr Special Collections. "Series XI: K. Laurence Stapleton Marianne Moore Papers" contains materials related to K. Laurence Stapleton's book Marianne Moore: The Poet's Advance; the Marianne Moore estate; and the Marianne Moore Poetry Fund. More information on this very large series can be found in the separate K. Laurence Stapleton finding aid.
Marianne Moore was one of the most celebrated modern poets. This collection provides insight into Moore's poetry and writing process, but also her personal life and relationships. It would be a highly valuable resource for anyone interested in Marianne Moore, J. Sibley Watson, Hildegarde Watson, K. Laurence Stapleton, and Bryn Mawr College.
Many individuals have contributed materials to the collection of Marianne Craig Moore Papers. Hildegarde and J. Sibley Watson, Jr. contributed photographs, manuscripts, news clippings, audio recordings, a tricorn hat, a long black cape, a briefcase, and an enormous amount of correspondence. Marianne Moore's nieces, Marianne Craig "Bee" Moore II and Sallie Moore, contributed correspondence, photographs, manuscripts, news clippings and student notebooks. K. Laurence Stapleton was responsible for a subset of the collection which includes her own correspondence with the poet, research notes, and manuscript and galley copies of her book Marianne Moore: The Poet's Advance as well as materials related to Moore's verse composition course, the management of the Marianne Moore estate, the establishment of the Marianne Moore Poetry Fund.
Responsible for the materials that supplement the Watsons', Moores', and K. Laurence Stapleton's major contributions are Bryn Mawr College alumnae: Fannie S. Barber Berry (Class of 1909), Helen B. Crane (Class of 1909), Nina Montgomery Dana (Class of 1945), Grace Wooldridge Dewes (Class of 1909), Katherine G. Ecob (Class of 1909), Marjorie Young Gifford (Class of 1909), Blanch Shapiro Grant (Class of 1933), Patsy von Kienbusch Little (Class of 1947), Gertrude M. Macy (Class of 1926), Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius (Class of 1909), Mary Frank Case Pevear (Class of 1911), Helen Sandison (Class of 1906), Jane Yeatman Savage (Class of 1922), Mrs. Barbara B. Thacher Plimpton (Class of 1965), and Mary K. Woodworth (Class of 1924). Additionally, the Marianne Moore Poetry Fund, Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library, Mrs. Gilbert Charbonneau, Janice Pries, John Francis Putnam, Lewis Turco, Bernard Waldman, and Michael Watson have contributed important materials.
- Watson, James S. (James Sibley), 1894-1982
- Moore, Marianne
- Watson, Hildegarde Lasell
- Moore, Marianne -- Poems
- Bryn Mawr College
- Finding Aid Author
- Marianne Hansen, Jennifer Hoit, Melissa Torquato
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
The Marianne Craig Moore papers are the physical property of Bryn Mawr College Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their heirs and assigns.
"Do not trouble to acknowledge these pictures--but eventually could you have them returned to me?"
"I am glad to send you one of my note-books--which Mrs. John Stephan of The Tiger's Eye kindly had protected by a slip-case. The title, "Reading Diary" does not seem to me just right. Excerpts or transcripts seems to me more accurate."
"I enclose the list of recommended reading for my 2nd semester seminar [at Bryn Mawr College] in contemporary selected poets contemplated by Miss McBride and Dr. Chew. Certain of the books are so very expensive, I hope they are already in the Library... So far as I know material is not carelessly duplicated in any of the items specified. Please give me advice if improvements occur to you or if certain books should be omitted by reason of expense."
Typed list of recommended reading for the proposed poetry seminar with notes in pencil in Miss Agnew's handwriting.
"I shan't forget the transforming power of your presentment in the rare book room. The rareness is in what you and Bryn Mawr do for me"
"I thank you for writing but you are much too punctilious. If the Sitwell books can be of use, I am glad."
"...The Reverend John D. Sheehan...has completed [a bibliography of MCM's work] and a copy is in Trinity College Library--a bibliography of writings by me, about me, honorary degrees, citations and photostat copies of material.... The orderly presentation of data is out of the ordinary and the thesis is of real interest critically--although I am much, much over-rated."
"You must not take time to thank me Miss Agnew" received with MCM's gift copy of Like a Bulwark
"No acknowledgement necessary of these items." Received with MCM's gift copy of Idiosyncrasy & Technique.
"As I have said to Katherine Ecob, I am not only willing but eager to do anything that might benefit Bryn Mawr, but I do not consider it intelligent to crowd already crowded files with what is easier to read in typing or print and you have my permission to discard this pen-version of the piece of which I read several stanzas at the meeting in Goodhart Hall on Sunday."
"I do like to feel that my donations are not a problem--a book shelf superfluity. But emancipate yourself, stately Miss Agnew, from any formality of acknowledgement when I give the Library anything."
"I have just written an explicit letter to Mr. Baum...asking if the work done can be paid for promptly or if I am needed to help pay for it rather than have the Library embarrassed--shall let you know the result."
"So philosophic and gracious you are! The ambition of these literary delinquents is surpassed by their inconsiderateness." Enclosed letter from S. V. Baum apologizing for paying his photostat fees late.
"...your global view of the world is literally that. When I consider the perennial penny before my eye that obscures the sun, I marvel at my talent for being an earthworm."
"My summers are like those of an insect--one continent, one meadow... You say volumes on a post-card. I say nothing on foolscap."
"Dear Fan, am not too scared to face the beagles of 1909, but I just can't make it; am a kind of Nellie Bly."
"Am a fool about 'the [Republican] Party,' that is to say Ike. I think he is a marvel, for goodness, charm, grasp of world matters and plain hard work."
"My fascinating mail concerning the Berry-Barber Library, makes me so glad I insist on trying to be an author."
"I never received a card that fascinated me more... Those masks with eye-holes for the elephants and the throng restrained by police in Stetson hats and bare legs--the mahouts on the elephants serenely passive, with royal attendants in long 'drapes' and blinding sun beating down on the multitude..."
"It is dear of you to say these things...I am, I confess, tongue-tied by you Fannie. And contemplating you and Frances, the obvious fulfillment of Miss Thomas's dream, while I stagger amid the neversay- dies, I can't half breathe--the disparity is so great!"
"Those ties of nearness at St. Luke's Place when I was apprehensive that Mother could not recover, and your sacrifices to sustain me...your instructing me about the manipulation of sheets; your visiting us here and accounts of your summers, bringing grapefruit...--all is alive in my consciousness--And College! integral with my existence."
"I think fondly of your visits to 260 Cumberland Street. The neighborhood got to be a strain and 35 is no strain; though dusty. Do be near me before long and come in. Please do."
"My birthday is quite a puzzle to me but neighbors have celebrated with presents, so feel exonerated."
"What excitement to see you in that anomalous crowd--Dear Fannie! I've been futilely phoning you--now driven to the pen! Blessings on you Valiant Fannie."
"However advanced a Mrs. Rip van Winkle I become please find me in my wayward haunts... Phoenixes forever? Do let us be."
"I am so grateful for that word or two under the roses, love that has grown stronger over more than 60 years."
"Am so glad that Sallie and Warner could say some words of thanks to you. I have plenty of room for congratulations, Mary, from you and Fannie. You break a record every time."
"I attained some 'class' by virtue of my friends--you and Helen.... It stabilizes me some, to think of you and Mary. Always chic--mentally and sartorially. And that dear Helen--our impresario, and so quiet..."
"No ordinary rabbit (cottontail)--an angel with long soft ears visited me today, no regulation trespasser, an Easter friend to lift my spirits and bring me a pussy-willow twig or 20"
Biba discusses print copies of pictures MCM has requested.
"You are most encouraging, Miss Biba, to notice my Dodgers. They now include a citation for Gil Hodges, Carl Farillo, and Jake Pitter!"
"I cannot yet approximate the number of words I shall be submitting and am beset by simultaneous tasks, that I cannot defer. Please know that my sense of the urgency of presenting something promptly is extreme."
"Thank you for your kind question. I dare not offer new work, having signed an agreement to offer what I write to one magazine..."
"I must have taken all the pictures and all the films--"
"...Am very sorry you caught cold on the pier in that blizzard-so did I..."
"The pictures! They bring back happy days-"
"I can't take my eyes off the pictures-(Color pictures!)"
"...I haven't liked the trudging and patience that Aunts F & N have had to muster these past months but they are doing better they say."
"...Sister, I am being punished for 5 or more months (before I can be a very friendly alligator); a kind of stroke--interfering with the muscles of my throat."
"Sister! It is no problem. I will be your Valentine!"
"Mundane Marianne does love embossed hearts and for-get-me-nots."
"Dear Sister, Why are you not with me?"
"I thank you for Mrs. Holland's letter; and the picture is beautiful,-the sea, wonderfully accurate."
"The Nutshell Library has hypnotised me so that I refuse to read any book or books but Alligators all around."
To Frances, Norvelle, and Mary Browne "I am abounding in health since my visit, impervious to any annoyance-"
Description of the Indian Harbor House.
"The donkey's sides should not advertise anything but perseverance. True.
"Don't I know? See you later Alligator! I hope, Sister B., that I shall."
"I am charmed with the Persians."
"Our photographer on a tour of Spain, France, and Italy where the lizards are green as well as grey."
"Thank you Sister, Should return you anything, write of telephone 4753201. Would not be so brief but crazy-busy."
"I'm reviving from 4 weeks and more, of bronchitis and dentistry."
"Since you feel it could be of use to you to have me conduct such a course or 'seminar' as we have considered, I shall do my very best to make what is offered, valuable."
"I...thank you for being so fearless and idealistic as to think about a Collected Poems for me; but my Macmillan contract requires that any two books of verse I may next have for publication, be submitted to the Company."
"It seems to me one should be loyal to the publisher who first hazarded its substance and reputation for one...but I do not intend to beg! This perhaps would mean that I would need a home, but as just said, please don't count on it."
"I do endorse your project, and upon receiving your list, felt a strong impulse to come to your support...but, Mr. Ciardi, I cannot at present be a subscriber.... I contribute (in a sense) to the basic therapies: cancer research, leprosy, blindness, but should like to be on some sort of payroll [rather than the beneficiary of grants] before I appear to be in any sense a sponsor or subscriber."
Moore, having received of Elizabeth Bartlett a book of poems which she thought publishable, forwards them to Ciardi for his perusal.
Moore regrets that Ciardi has had to turn down the poems by Elizabeth Bartlett and comments on poems by Ciardi, which he has sent her.
"I thank you for sending me your Cantos I-V of the Inferno. I am very, very interested in translation; (I know something of its desperations) and like the firmness of [your translated lines.]"
Ciardi has requested a submission from Moore for his New World Writing and Moore replies that she has a piece that would be appropriate, but has submitted it elsewhere. She promises it to Ciardi if the other publication rejects it.
"No answer from Botteghe Oscure about my tribute to Escudero, so abandon me. I am very disappointed."
"After you had appeared and disappeared at the Katzenback's and I discovered that Mr. McClintock had been ill--that privacy should have been obligatory as we swarmed upon you both in your helplessness- -strangers without a vestige of an excuse to invade your retreat--an unmanageable herd.... I, well--my feelings? Despair engulfed me, that it could be one's fate to harm the very prototype of charity, of sensibility, of goodness! I never can recover from that."
Moore declines to participate in the way requested in a Bryn Mawr Reunion. She suggests others who "would do the thing well."
"September is my favorite time of year and what a joy that select reunion would be... But, Scrap, I defeat my best good by crowding everything into the good parts of the year and have no hope of realizing this delectable vacation."
Moore thanks Ecob for sending her a copy of the Saturday Review with a front cover photo of her.
"I am more thankful than I can say that I was at Reunion. I thought that we were an encouraging sight; what is more, such reciprocity and affection as was shown by all, did me ever so much good. And the usefulness of nearly all members made me proud of Bryn Mawr and give me incentive to do all I can for the College." Folder also contains the letter that accompanied the donation of this letter.
"That Miss Donnelly will not be giving lectures at Bryn Mawr, makes me very sad. I want her to have quiet hours and beauty of leisure and often have thought with anxiety of her too abundant giving; her unmeasured generosity in connection with her English lectures; but involuntarily feel the more that her retirement is not to be permitted."
"...We have never had a visitor about whom there has been such unanimous praise afterwards." Letter from Ford to Hildegarde Watson accompanies this copy.
"Miss Agnew devoted such care to me and interest, that certainly the bestowal has been not mine, but Bryn Mawr's to me. Indeed I must come back presently and thank you face to face."
This file contains 3 letters by Marianne Moore and 5 others regarding the Katherine Fullerton Gerould Memorial Prize. The Gerould Poetry Prize was first given in 1947
"The Executive Board has instructed me to ask you to do us the honor of accepting a one-year term as an alumna member of the Committee to judge the material submitted by the undergraduates. The other two who are being invited are Cornelia Otis Skinner and Fredrick Thon who is giving a course in playwriting."
"I shall be glad to serve on the committee which will judge material for the Katherine Fullerton Gerould Memorial Prize if I may submit my decision in writing--accompanied by comments if desirable."
"At last we have completed the Katherine Fullerton Gerould Prize Committee to our great satisfaction. When I submitted your letter with its provisional acceptance to the Executive Board at a recent meeting, they felt that they would be glad to have you on any terms and grateful to you for your willingness to serve."
"If the entries could be accompanied by specific instructions regarding the number of choices and the forwarding of the work to the colleague who should have it next, I shall be prompt and careful in transmitting work and opinion; and I hope, not too utilitarian."
"Before this date I certainly should have sent you a note to say that I am considerably flattered in being appointed to serve as the first chairman of the committee to read entries for the Katherine Fullerton Gerould Prize. If you will understand that my silence has been due not to lack of interest in this committee's work, but to meditation on how to proceed."
"Ever since May 8th I have been planning to write to you - one more letter on the subject of the Gerould Prize because I thought you would be interested in the Undergraduates' reaction. Miss McBride made quite a feature of the announcement on May Day morning and wild applause greeted the name of the winner.
"Your word of the Prize and the applause which greeted President McBride's announcement of Margaret Rudd as recipient, is of intense interest to me. I received...a very fine letter from Margaret Rudd, saying she had been discouraged about her writing and that this interest in her work had come just at the right time."
Letter summarizes the formation of the Gerould Prize Committee, the helpful role the Alumnae Office played in managing students' submissions, the reasons senior Margaret Rudd won the prize in 1947, and Rambo's desire to have Marianne Moore serve on the committee in the future.
MCM sends her regrets that she cannot come to alumnae night to do a reading.
"...Just at present I am a prey to the ills of the flesh and to contending factions of despair, but I keep things to myself--my work is not up to scratch..."
"...I heard a wonder of a lecture last night on 'the aesthetic experience'--It said that aestheticism was to be separated from real living--that we must not get the disassociated habit of thought or we become inefficient, unhappy and often unkind--the lady said, what ailed Henry James was his aestheticism unconsciously carried to excess--His 'later' people were all standing off 'experiencing' and observing."
"The amount of plain simple, monotonous living one has to do, in travelling the highroad to fortune, is revolting. I try jollying people up, and reading things I like, and working like a dog for a while and then there's a sticking point--what is the use? If ever I find out, I shall feel that I have attained Heaven."
"I never condescend to feel sorry for myself--It's not sporting--and heavens! Whatever I am I must be a sport....She...led evening meeting, Sunday, on contentment--said women were said to suffer from a subtle discontent which men did not--was all wrong--we could train ourselves..."
Moore copied out a portion of Ivanhoe as a valentine to Haldeman.
"…My 'passion for the phrase' will be the death of me-But there's no use talking, every goat should be allowed a chance to play with its shadow-at least a little-in the wild oat stage-To be specific, my story. It is quite popular with a few, Louise and Georgina Biddle and Martha. I didn't give it to them-It seems Louise got it from Martha-I had to change the name to "The Boy and the Egotist." I wanted to call it 'The Rostrum, a Heap of Flints' but didn't. It may not be coming out-I can't find out, if it doesn't I still shall send it to you…"
MCM tells Haldeman about criticism she has received from a friend named as "Margaret M." regarding her short story "Pym" which had just been published in the January 1908 issue of Tipyn O'Bob. The story concerns a literary youth's ambition to become a writer and his vacillations between the artistic life and the practical expectations of an uncle. Moore writes, "She tells me… the 'struggle' is almost too obvious-to try something out in the field of observation but not to me as an individual, so vital-(as Pym)" The letter also contains Moore's handwritten text of "The Sentimentalist," the poem published in Tipyn O'Bob in April 1908 and a reference to her poem "To Come After a Sonnet" about which the poet writes, "[It is] a very awkward sketch 'tis true. But since it is a sketch of you, I like it here and there-do you?"
Moore offers Haldeman words of comfort, "The pressure upon you is constant and I do not wonder that you come to ask yourself if dreams good and bad are not the whole stuff hope is made of--I know the feeling" and discusses at length Henry James's niece Peggy, who has come to Bryn Mawr.
"Dear Marcet, You don't know how glad I am that you like my 'poetry.' I shall send you what I have of it-knowing that you really do not think it trash does me more good than anything I know-For I know as well as anyone that my productions are not powerful-It is really a terrible feeling, the feeling that you know how to say it and have nothing to say-The rhythm of a poem that is, is suggested by the mood (in my case) before the words. (…)"
"…I shall send you my story "The Boy and the Churl" though I feel no excitement about-stories done, are like trees which you paused to gaze at and admired extravagantly, but which have grown dead, characterless and uninteresting as you look back on them-I don't seem able to get anything out, which feels like me-You asked me about my letters-My letters are better than my stories I suppose because I am not self-conscious because I am thinking of 'you.' In my stories I can't get the artistic point of view-I think 'how supercilious that sounds'-'Mother will think I'm going to the bad'-"Warner will think I am sentimental getting 'soft'"-'Peggy will think that pretentious'-'If I say that Martha will think me undeveloped, crude'- etc.-I fear to handle red-hot stuff-you see-and hesitation in literatics is ruin."
"I heard Miss Addams last night and feel better for having done so.... I am so glad I had the opportunity of hearing her when I heard her before, she seemed able and 'great' without seeming as this time a 'good Samaritan to all'"
"...Ibsen swells the ranks of my idols--How they would stare and go at each other if they all met on a campus martius, each with the din of the others' greatness in his ears--Michael angelo, Wagner, Napoleon, G. F. Watts, Meredith Burns, Shakespeare (!) W. James and a few scientists-- (and shake hands good friends if I am correct.) Genius burns--with a fire so incessant as to be inartictic [sic]...and I shall send you the fruits--Two verses and a story--I have not the heart to collect my 'poems for you yet-- Some are forgotten,
"…I must tell you about my story-The Dean spoke of the Tip [Tipyn O'Bob] in Chapel and said a certain story 'Philip the Sober' contained that kind of thing that made the college ridiculous to outsiders-phrases such as, 'chop-chopping along in the half-dried mud,' 'Promethean trained sensibilities'-That it seemed too bad that a girl who showed ability should be guilty of affectation-She said however that there were two excellent poems in the paper by the same author and she read out, 'To My Cupbearer' I was flattered that she should take me so much to heart-And anon I intend to try what may be done in the world of letters minus 'affectation' in a bald form-I have tried a college story which I think will do for next year and I am strong in the notion of imitating Ibsen in another, with an English setting-I shall tell you how I come on."
Moore expresses ambivalence about being in college, praises her friend Frances and thanks Haldeman for advice she had written to her, saying "In that thoughts from afar, make one well, I am no longer ill--medicine administered so gently, should dare seldom to be inefficacious. How did you contrive them?"
Moore writes of how glad she is that Haldeman has come to Bryn Mawr to visit along with Moore's mother and brother, complains of circumstances at school, "Why are you never through dinner at Denbigh till half-past seven?" and discusses Peggy James.
"Your article in The World for May 28th concerning The Dial will always be remembered by the staff as valiant support. You allude to certain particulars dear to those of the present organization--the modest cover, the encouragement of new writers, the purpose of The Dial Award, and The Dial's hospitality. Whether we deserve it or not, we deeply feel your generosity in saying that to replace The Dial one would have to subscribe to three magazines."
"We come again, --to thank you for God's bounty as you dispense it in A London Child of the 70's, being given by my mother as a birthday present to one of my nieces." Application for a $4.00 money order for Mrs. Hughes accompanies the letter.
"...how am I ever to thank you for not hating my fables? Sown with stupidities and mishaps--have to rewrite--retranslate in each printing. You don't know how you help me by seeing a good outcome." Folder also contains letter of donation from Mrs. Gifford.
"It is a pleasure to have your letter, to see the Winter Lantern and as it were be among you, in having lines of mine reprinted, --faint though they seem to me by comparison with some of the magazine's more positive content."
"Your siren invitation is doubly irresistible in being an invitation of kindness."
"C.J. Poole was a Brooklyn steeple-jack who worked on various high buildings and steeples..."
"Bettina? an answer to prayer, you are--and so calm, at least outwardly."
"I am glad you care to own the book. All such givings should have been by permission."
"Thank you for your enheartening letter about my Predilections and for word that Laurence is officially more of a professor even than she has been."
"Such a rarely beautiful angel and harp, Miss Linn."
"...I have been reading A Letter to Elizabeth (a good title surely); --wondering how you could teach and create this book at the same time..."
"I am much encouraged by this review--Edwin Muir's in The Observer." Attached is a transcribed copy of the review.
"If you should care to come in to see me tomorrow evening, I shall be at home and should be glad to see you."
"My mother and I have been sad in feeling we knew nothing with which to make up to you for the struggle of coming to see us...and are indeed speechless that you should think of such many and great ways of bringing us good,--in addition to the constant reassurance we had from our visit with you that all who set forth as writers are not ruthless, worldly, and precipitate."
"How kind you are, and generous of strength. We are benefited, I wish you knew how much,--contradictory as our behaviour will seem, since we are not able to accept your invitation to the play or to dinner."
"I am glad the tickets were prompt in their transit to you, but am sorry that so great a kindness as yours could bring to your mind questioning thoughts. To my mother and me it will always stir grateful remembering."
"Your preceptive and overwhelmingly large giving makes us speechless. My brother...was amazed and delighted by the many pictures you have given us... He admired their artistry..."
"When the crowding things of this season have scattered, and quieted, we look forward to having a visit with you."
"Your copyings of the T. S. Eliot poems and articles, and insights into them, have a potency and utility which the eager complimenters of T. S. Eliot in the present Advocate, alas are far short of... We do expect to emerge from our anomalous busy-ness and shall then hope to see you--and say some of the things I feel like saying and cannot just now, about the 'Ode' and 'Song' and Eliot book reviews." Folder also contains copies of "Ode" and "Song" and book reviews by T. S. Eliot.
"I should greatly like to accept your kindness and effort for me and see the Hamlet. The past weeks make me wonder if I could--and my present shackles but I shall plan to be well and to go, and if it should be impossible, shall telephone you not later than Friday..."
"It is just not to be that I should go to Hamlet."
Moore thanks Littlefield for various gifts he has sent her.
After discussing the infections and illnesses of her mother and brother, Moore turns to a discussion of T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound.
Moore thanks Littlefield for books he has sent her and discusses the improvement of her mother's health.
Moore requests that if Littlefield sees Victorian Panorama in a used book store, he procure some copies for her. She adds that he is not to go out of his way.
Moore thanks Littlefield for the "gift" of his lengthy letter describing the Cummings dinner, as well as for magazines and cookies he has sent her, as she has been ill.
"The English at Home is startling indeed in its dramatic vividness, a portfolio of stories really,--and something to study at recurring intervals. The seagull and masts, and the November oaks beyond the foreground of leaves are very rare triumphs, are they not,--in recording what one would care to preserve, but usually has to trust to memory.... I am not sorry to have James Joyce given assurance that his art is admitted, and felt to be a thing of power."
"You are much more respectful to our love of reading than we are to it ourselves but we are grateful. The copy of Life came, almost as we did, and then the Blake Catalogue and the envelopes. Certain of the facts that Mr. Newton presents here in the Introduction make the life and the work of Blake more poignant than ever, and the reproductions, together in this way and so accessible, reveal much that we had never noticed."
"We have received the Housman lecture. How reckless of strength and substance you are. To tell us of a helpful thing is more even than you should permit yourself. Though one does tend with A. E. Housman to let him speak personally on the printed page, he is so brave in attacking large subject matter and so terse."
"It is good of you to give us the article on Joyce by Edmund Wilson--in the New Republic... Apart from the help which the article represents, it is interesting as a study in method, it seems to me, and should be kept also for that, and Heywood Broun on John Steinbeck was rather pleasing to me."
Moore discusses terms with Littlefield for some typing she has asked him to do for her, urging him to take more money than he has proposed.
"I shall send you some pages to type,--but could not for maybe a week; and not then, unless I have your word for it I may give you twenty or thirty dollars for the undertaking. There is no qualifying of this proposal."
Moore provides formatting instructions to Littlefield so that he may begin typing for her.
Moore admonishes Littlefield, "Please do not drive yourself. You have seen the laborious slowness with which I produce material, and it will be a week or more perhaps till I have anything further to send."
Moore responds to questions on formatting that Littlefield has asked.
"In my haste to reply last evening, I did not say,--Never re-type a page because of some trifling correction or false start. Legibility is what is needed, not super-elegance."
Moore offers more instructions on formatting her manuscript to Littlefield.
"It is very forgiving of you to enclose us the picture of yourself,--as showing that inconsiderate oversights in the wretched manuscript sent you, have not strained friendship."
Moore thanks Littlefield for the pages he has sent her.
"I think the comparison of North's Plutarch to Shakespeare and the prose-poetry Eliot analogy especially valuable and a distinctive part of your originality, and if subordinated,--in this case advisable. I don't so much favor the visual emphasis of the pictures."
"I shall certainly do it--nominate Marchette Chute for the Institute; I admire the Chutes very much. [I say Institute (of Arts and Letters) because the members of the Academy are chosen from the Institute-- these names are confusing. I almost never get them right.]" Folder also contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I have the book--your brother's poems and letters and other significant pages...Too valuable a book to give; I thank you the more."
Moore has suggested several names to the secretary of the National Institute of Arts and Sciences to second Marchette Chute's nomination.
Typed on a letter from the secretary of the National Institute of Arts and Sciences that informed Moore that Marchette Chute had already been nominated. Moore writes, "Not to be returned....Don't take time to thank me, kind Miss Loines."
"Thank you for approving my tribute to the Dodgers." Enclosed is a copy of "To the Dodgers:" The New York Times, October 3, 1956 which included the text of Moore's poem. Folder also contains a typed copy of the letter.
"I am a most deplorable deputy. I exerted himself to reinforce Marchette Chute, said in a meeting where candidates were discussed, that I felt she belonged in the Institute, that her idealism and sparing no pains to be reliable, and her civic sense, make her an asset...There my participation ended. I have not even telephoned the Chutes."
"I...attend[ed] the ceremonial and had a word with Marchette Chute. She has a beauty and sincerity that are as eloquent as what she writes, has she not?"
"Yes, your brother's Memorial Prize was bestowed on a worthy recipient, Edwin Muir has most rare sensibility--and spiritual transcendence that I know will never forsake him." Folder also contains 2 typed copies of this letter.
"I have felt that your brother's precious book was a loan; I am too frail a custodian of really valuable books. ...I...feel impelled to put this book in your keeping. It stirs my reverence; stands apart."
Moore turns down an invitation to visit Loines. Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I am just home from Bryn Mawr...and an attendant I need, (temporarily I hope) stayed in Wyndham which has much of Miss Thomas's and Miss Garett's 'Deanery' 'furniture' in it."
Recto: TLS, "In receiving yesterday from the office of the Comptroller, fifty dollars, I feel deeply your generous goodness and that of the College. Being with you and the group that so trustfully joined with you...was more benefit to me than could possibly have been offered by my brief address." Verso: TL "It is I who should have written very promptly to tell you how much we enjoyed your visit to Bryn Mawr."
Moore apologizes for having misspelled Miss McBride's first name in her previous letter.
Moore regrets that she must decline an invitation to teach a course on poetry at Bryn Mawr in 1951-52, but wishes if possible to be considered for the assignment in the future.
Having reconsidered her earlier decision, Moore writes to suggest conditions under which she would be able to teach a seminar on poetry and proposes a reading list for such a class in the spring of 1953.
MCM thanks McBride for her support with the Pulitzer Advisory Committee and discusses coming to Bryn Mawr in spring of 1953.
MCM discusses poetry she has been reading and recommends some of it.
MCM discusses undertaking the Bryn Mawr series and possibly detaining the publication of her La Fontaine fables because of the teaching series.
MCM makes plans for her teaching series at Bryn Mawr.
Plans for the upcoming teaching series at Bryn Mawr are finalized.
Moore tells McBride that she is sending her the gift of a copy of Creative Intuition in Art and Poetry by Jacques Maritain. Enclosed is a photo of a Moore's "lion" painting by Mary Meigs.
Letter regarding particulars about the M. Carey Thomas Award ceremony.
Moore thanks McBride for the M. Carey Thomas Award, calling her experience at Bryn Mawr a "baptism of the spirit."
"It is all so characteristic, your comprehensive benedictory care over us, me and my family--the two drawing rooms, your making me feel I had a home in which to stay and rest--your sending me the tall yellow roses which are now in their glory--even after a four or five hour drive in the sun..."
"I would not for anything have missed your talk at the LeRoy's; and Frances Browne tells me you spoke in Boston as ideally--I am always in a flutter before a journey but got off without a regret after the scholarship meeting."
"I marvel. Nothing should deject me if you can say that I made 'Goodhart seem a small room and everyone' my 'friend'--incredulous as I am that you could think it. I also marvel that despite your many and varied obligations of hospitality, you could enjoy having me with you."
"I shall take courage from your words of the 15th (of May) when I receive them. You must not be hurried about this--or ever, Miss McBride, be detained by writing to me what you could rid yourself by letting someone else write for you."
Moore thanks McBride for a present.
Moore thanks Miss McBride for the copy of McBride's remarks on the occasion of the presentation of the M. Carey Thomas Award.
"How impressive to me; that with too much to think about already and trips to make, you should be concerned for my safety."
Moore consults with McBride about a gift of silverware the poet intends to have engraved for Miss McBride.
"I now infer something of why the College does not fall to pieces and do hope your path may be a safe one..."
Moore confirms an invitation to come and give a reading to the students at Bryn Mawr.
Moore is forced to decline her appearance at Bryn Mawr due to illness.
Moore thanks McBride for having sent her a large arrangement of flowers.
"Katharine, the plates! Dear and wonderful friend! They will bring back to me former times, recent times, the present comeliness of Bryn Mawr, and at all times, the giver."
Moore thanks McBride for the flowers she has received from the president at her recent visit to Bryn Mawr and declines an invitation to attend commencement that year.
MCM thanks Bryn Mawr for hospitality during her recent visit.
Marianne Moore sends her regrets for being unable to attend the 1961 Commencement. Invitation included.
"Your letter of May 25th and enclosure--Bryn Mawr's check for a thousand dollars--finds me, an amateur who is almost illiterate, too stirred almost to know how to reply."
MCM mentions her educational preparation leading up to her college days at Bryn Mawr.
"I cannot accept for Marianne C. Moore 1909 is unable to be at luncheon."
On the death of Charles J. Rhoads, Moore writes a note of condolence, "How many blows for you to sustain, dear dad to us all. Great Katharine your stirring letter... How unexaggerating and steadfast and full of delicacy those words."
"Miss Marianne Moore is most eager to accept Mrs. Marshall's invitation to luncheon on Saturday, May 30th and answers that she may,--if conveyed to Bryn Mawr by half past twelve on May 30th."
"I couldn't have credited what a feeling this picture would give me. The trees are not strictly vertical; so veracious, I mean and firmly rooted in the reddish needle covered ground. I think your free exact 'writing' on the tree-trunks is inspired; also the brittle ghosts of forever; green boughs suggested so unobtrusively by here and there a slight 'turkey foot'."
"I have been wishing I could see you and wondering if you have seen the Ben Shawn pictures at the Museum of Modern Art and if you have any pictures 'like' your seagulls and trees."
Moore sorts out details of a meeting with Meigs.
"...unless you hear from me Friday, could you telephone me Saturday morning? ...to see if I am fit to go to the play and be having luncheon with you..."
"I marveled yesterday--the exquisite luncheon, confirming what one likes best if able to command it--the complex preparation; and your composure despite it; your rare surroundings and triumphant progress to the play, right on time! And then the play itself..."
"I am helpless to write you, much less to speak to you if we should meet. I am in awe of those Maine woods! A brownie like myself lurks in such stateliness but is too small to possess anything. Your all-seeing eyes should have told you this. I really am all of atremble. That you could want to give me the picture! It is more than I can credit..."
"Louise tells me Mary, that you think of getting me 'some little thing for my birthday.' This pains me very much Mary. You and Louise have just given me the marvel of a bag you brought from Guatemala..."
"I have robbed you again, Mary. It isn't good. But the roosters are. What an original theme. A bevy! And every one an unsubordinated master of the colloquy..."
"Nothing would induce me to part with my roosters, unless it is an insistently pitiless conscience--for I have no right to them any more than I have to a right to the Maine Woods. The alert, impersonal eye of each and your distributing of the combs, have roused in me a pride that resents any threat."
Moore declines an invitation to a movie and adds, "This is also a command, Mary; As I am saying to Louise too, I became the Aga Kahn last year, in the greatness of my acquisitions and might faint if I received a present."
"I wrote you to Iron Curtain my birthday partly, but mainly to say what I forgot in the rush of a sudden entanglement--that I am not going to have that ladle taken away from me."
"The musing deer, Mary! beneath its own inseparable Christmas tree. What a thought. The sky spangled with stars! ...I am entranced with it... That wonderful translucent plate-glass green, and ultramarine. You have me all excited. And how sure and eloquent the curlicues and implication of the eye..."
"This beneficent lion with his Durham Cathedral dogtooth mane, and brother-lion adjoining! I don't like you to have parted with it. And then the Klee, which is more persuasive almost than the entire exhibition at the Museum!"
"The heliotrope of the ox and ass is a thing of endless beauty and I marvel at the crucible in the ox's horn--a whole portrait in itself. The dove's almond eye and heavy-lead pencil beak-points are so very exact, also the swellings of the neck; and your eye for cerise and raspberry really is something, Mary."
Referring to the gifts of paintings from Meigs to Moore, the poet writes, "My art collection is quite impressive now--the Windsor Bear, the Bar Harbor Crab, the Guatemalan Pelican, Arkley's Roosters, the trees, and Lions on loan!"
"I have lion-fever--a bad case. And so has my Arab passport photographer. He said, 'whoever painted that knows color values.' And what imagination! When you have a gift like that it's not a case of teaching. It's something you can't learn." With photocopy of second page of the letter.
Moore waxes poetic over gardens and flower fragrances as a result of writing a review on a book about gardens. With photocopy of first page of the letter.
"When I returned home Christmas evening and glanced at the lion before laying off my wraps, I felt an exhilaration I can't describe or suggest. ...Warner was really amused...when I told him how dreary and irritable I felt during the absence of the painting at the photographer's." With photocopy of the first page of the letter and a photograph of the painting described.
"And the elephants... What innocence, especially the fancy for resting one foot against the other as you describe it. The tail and rear third are ultra-expressive I should have them in a case under my lion. If there is anything I deplore it is a collector, but I guess I am getting to be one."
Moore thanks Meigs for an invitation and says she will be there.
"I am happy about the picture, Mary. ...The Zebra should animate me for the whole last stretch of my Fables. What leg-stripes--veritable child's penciled horizontal sock-stripes! And the frown of action in the eye is remarkable." With photocopy of first page.
Moore considers it a "treat" that Meigs will be visiting her the following week.
"I am fortunate that you can not only paint but write. The sheep--a genuine, literal flock...of sheep, and the staring contest between you and the goat! Their translucent grasshopper eyes always make me think of an enchanter as having had a hand in the uncivil, fixed aplomb of the animal."
"Tom Fool would neigh and hurdle the shadows of all the furlong-poles, I am sure if he could see his three compatriots from Greece. To think of your parting with this unique memento, Mary. How can you be so unselfish?"
"How ever tell you, Mary, how your charity--blesses me. And I so thank you for liking the Fables and being able to think 'scholars' read them!"
"At my reading, Mary! And I didn't get to speak to you! The painting of the snow patches and a country road. It makes me happy to hear of it. As for the poodle, it is of a fineness indescribable--I see it in the mind's eye as the living dog!"
Moore sends Meigs a gift and tells her not to thank her.
Moore is pleased to receive an announcement that Meigs' paintings are to appear in an art show.
Moore discusses Meigs' paintings and some paintings she has seen recently in New York galleries.
Moore thanks Meigs for the gift of yet another painting.
"The Chinese hunting-scene is so rare, so innocent-looking! What musical instrument-like beautiful browns; and how daintily the 7 arrows are represented. I hope they speared nothing."
"I am, you know, a minor M. Meigs centre, and wish you heard remarks made."
"Ultra-exquisite Mary! Did I ever see anything like this? Masterpiece upon masterpiece--and your own Christmas one; veracious, and then enhanced with the most dashing security of brush--calligraphic in fact, your landscape."
"After seeing you, I hastened to the House of Detention...to talk to the prisoners--girls--about writing. They have sad faces, but were encouraging--so intent on art."
Moore discusses the work of Van Gogh and Dubuffet, noting of the latter, "Some of the coloring is superb and certain effects rival Daumier--as human expression."
"No, no, NO, friends. Paralyze what we are doing, to effect what CAN'T BE DONE BY SITTING DOWN? (Surprised at you!) I have medium brains, but this is suicide. (Pardon scratch paper)"
In response to Palmer's request for criticism on his short story, Moore has enclosed the text of his short story with corrections in pencil. Folder also contains the text of Palmer's story with corrections in Moore's handwriting.
"It would seem to me, above all, that a recipient of the Award should be of a temper in keeping with Miss Donnelly's own literary exactitude and moral force. Candidates who have occurred to me are Elizabeth Bishop, Katherine Anne Porter, Margaret Rudd, and Pauline Hanson..."
On the reverse of the November 25 letter: "We are interested in the candidates whom you mention..."
"I feel that Edith Finch should be induced to accept the Lucy Martin Donnelly Fellowship."
"What I have to suggest is this merely: that I saw something of Madame Yourcenar last summer and feel that she fully justifies reinforcement--that I believe Miss Donnelly would be in sympathy with Mme Yourcenar..."
"I think from time to time of your noble, philosophical attitude to the exigencies of school life and people."
Moore thanks Pevear for a velvet wrap Pevear has sent her. "Mary. This magnificent thing! I feel like the King of the Black Isles--also like Cinderella with your wand above me. If you knew how lame my neck and shoulders were from the draughty Museum of Modern Art platform--when I set out for Bryn Mawr on May 15th, you would be so glad you did this."
"I so hope the year is going well for you. Every day I hope to lead a really peaceful life and don't--but I shall!"
Moore hopes that Pevear and she will be able to meet.
"Thank you dear Mary for the harp and the halo and the peaceful dream. I think we understand each other--and have had some experiences that help us to treasure companionship as we travel along. I hope your path the coming year will be a safe one."
Moore regrets that she will not be able to meet Pevear in New Canaan and adds, "generous girl, it is so enthusiastic of you to buy that book; (many misprints, I am annoyed to find.)"
"Do manage to keep well, Mary;--and I'll try to copy you. I hope you'll have it easier presently."
"I am sorry to hear of your attack of hives--I have had that--sieges of it--in times past. I hope this is your last."
"The mules look like ants--I hardly discerned them the [Grand] canyon is so fearsomely tall. ...I am working hard on my California talks. Hate assiduity but I have to work or stay home!"
"I could not have a better present, Mary than to know you are basking, swimming and rejuvenating yourself, instead of grappling with school problems..."
"...wishing you were with us literally as well as in conversation. Never have I made or had served me, so perfect lemonade, soda biscuit and rare cheddar cheese were offered us... I am happy, dear Mary, to know from Frances that you had safety and rest in Florida, and that your apartment is going to be a good one for you."
"A good Easter, dear Mary. We have good days, very much in the assurance that others do, and I am consoled and hopeful as I realize that you transferred yourself safely from the College to 323 Main Street--hard but wise."
"The rats [rodents are an inside joke between Moore and Pevear] who brought me the Easter Egg traced the violets by scent to Vestry Street. Don't mistake them ever for regular rats--or maybe use the word pests ever at all."
"December has been a madness which makes me wonder what my mother would think of it. But one sweet apparition to calm my spirit... Nothing could inspire me like your example, Mary. Much goes wrong for all of us and it is what we do about it that matters."
"You looked and looked, and found, yes found, a panacea for a distracted friend."
"Mary, How can you bring one such immense good! Cages of it and azure Siamese cat smiles. And fun. Yes I missed you, said every little while at N. Canaan, 'pity Mary isn't here'"
"The mouse came followed by snowtracks and I have not thanked you even for its brother of last year! I wish I were there with you where it is warm. And I wish you had been here with me...night before last, with a fire blazing on the bright brass andirons as we ate dinner preliminary to a lecture on handwriting forging."
"Thank you dear Mary! For the mice."
"My birthday is not peaceful, so if I could have had my wish, it would be to have Mouse to Mouse... The past days, Mary! On Sunday our pastor, George Knight read as a commentary on the assassination of President Kennedy...from Pilgrim's Progress..."
Commenting on the card she is sending of a rat and cat curled up together, Moore writes, "Not a very good cat, Mary; but the rat is asleep."
"We are impatient to tell you about our trip, were sad you had more trouble with hives."
"I never envisaged such joyous possibilities as now! Seeing you and Captiva and sandpipers."
"Mary, the very thought of you makes me cheered and happier... When can you be back? Frances and I will be better when you are."
"Saw Frances at the Cosmop. Club a few days ago, and she is in fine shape, will be if she can be alone. What can we do, Mrs. Pevear? I miss you."
"I am glad you like me throwing out the ball [at the first Yankee baseball game of the season]."
"Yours is the fastest and the mostest and mouse-most elegant mouse I know."
"Thank you so very much for encouraging me.--A rather backward gosling, you know."
"Mary I am delighted with an exaltation of cards a very unusual Book but an extravagant one, Very strange and scrupulously printed."
"Well, we have to be reconciled, no matter how time speeds on. I wish I could see you, too."
"No Mme. Tusseau Mouse, dear Mary! Movable one had been wishing to anticipate you among the shells and palms; but track you is all it does, with this."
Moore thanks Mrs. Plass for giving her a cape.
Mrs. Plass had evidently responded to Moore's thank-you note and Moore writes back, discussing Miss McBride and Mr. Rhoads of Bryn Mawr.
"We anticipate with happiness, your review of the Peary and shall before long sending (sic) to you, some books for briefer mention. Won't you say so, however, if such work becomes tedious?"
"I am not doing any reading or commenting-dare not- am human however!"
"I know the feeling. One would like to be acknowledged. And one never is. The essence escapes the critic--I should say, reader."
"(I have never had an agent) several agents, of which I think you should try..."
Moore offers upon request, criticism of some poems Putnam has sent her. She offers sentence structure changes, spelling changes and points out what she thinks is good and why. She adds, "Wallace Stevens is a philosopher and so concentrated in his reasoning, that often it seems to me, the person interpreting him, takes too strongly to heart, some facet of his thought. Always he is defining--saying 'By sentiment I mean' so and so. And often I find I had inferred some opposite meaning, from the one he implied. So if I may say so, let the enjoyment be your guide." (Copy of letter included)
Moore sends Putnam, who is hospitalized, some envelopes and stamps as well as money for snacks, cautioning him not to thank her, saying "Part of the drag of illness is the burden on one of not knowing how to accept people's kindness." (Copy of letter included.)
Empty envelope addressed to John Putnam, Ward D -4, Bellevue Hospital, and dated 1944 Jan 7.
"I am so situated I dare not be writing even little letters. And much less should you be taxed in strength and mind. Yet may I say to you just this--Your gifts of observation, of patient workmanship, and of 'feeling' are such that you are needed in the world. The only disaster that can happen...is to the mind." Moore enclosed a church bulletin. (Copy of letter included.)
Moore comments on another poem Putnam has sent her, concluding "I wish that you might have circumstances in strong contrast with your physical fight. (Copy of letter included.)
"I am so very glad you are recovering...No one is so well that hope is not his salvation...May you recover on and on..." (Copy of letter included.)
"That, tried by more than mortal exigency, you can have faith, strengthens others' faith; I wish you knew how much. And what reward for your doctors, that you can trust the hospital and join with them in their battle for you." (Copy of letter included.)
Moore thanks Putnam for his Christmas gift of a poem and expresses her concern about his health. (Copy of letter included.)
"How victorious of you it is to write a long letter, to address the package which just now came, yourself, and how renouncing of you it is, to give the book. To lend it would be unselfish. I shall keep it a long time; but you must, you truly must, let it be yours, or I would be unhappy." (Copy of letter included)
"I try to feel that something may be and is wrong with my work when it is returned to me. The difficult thing of course is to continue to be exhilarated by what one failed to do. One should, however, doggedly persevere with the composition--should go on submitting it I think; but possibly not for a time, since the very thought of it emphasizes to one its bad success." (Copy of letter included.)
"Truly a wonderful blessing it is, to feel that one has friends,--friends whose life is keen and expanding,--unsubservient to circumstance. I cannot feel that I should have a Guggenheim Fellowship, and am all the more grateful for the good will of it, and thank you more than I can say..." (Copy of letter included.)
"I am delighted that your article is to come out in The New Republic and am so sorry I did not know you were going to speak...last Tuesday."
"I am eagerly looking forward to coming. If you have made other plans since not hearing from me, don't give me a thought. I will understand."
"I didn't get any books from The Dial after all to review on the way south though I wrote them a week before leaving... We are just off Cape Hatteras and have had a high sea with waves towering half the height of the ship--a translucent aquamarine toward the top and there are guinea pigs, white mice and a goat on board so I need not tell you that I am having a good time."
"The first thing I heard when I got back...was that you had been desperately ill in the summer and that you were working again but not seeing anyone....You were terribly missed but I think you are right to take what care of yourself you can. I find that if I try to work and be as social as people want me to be I am sick or on the verge of being sick half the time and finally I am in despair as to what is to be done."
"Your knowledge of giving and great goodness to Mother and me are so palpably present to us, however long it may be since we have seen you or talked with you that to have you perform a great miracle of magnificence is frightening; I have no words in which to tell you how beautiful I think the handkerchief..."
Moore thanks Ridge for sending her money and reports, "I shall not be able to come to tea on Thursday but have hope that my schedule next month may be changed."
"We were distressed to know of your being in the hospital and hope you are regaining your strength... I was delighted to read of Poetry's award to you for your poem. May it be one in a long series."
On Dial letterhead. "It seems desecration to return your tender, lovely description of Adelaide Crapsey. There seems to us--I wonder if you can agree that it is so--a diminution of intensity at certain points which impairs the symmetry? In the face of such frankness, I wonder if it is entirely out of place to hope that you will not punish us by never again giving us an opportunity to see your work?"
On Dial letterhead. "Although we are returning "Unburnt Offering" and "Appulse" and have really forbidden ourselves to accept anything for a long time to come, we feel that we cannot relinquish "Ray" and shall in a few days send a cheque to you..."
"Perhaps even you do not know how much you have given to me in your gentle solicitude. I have been really very nearly just what you thought me--at the end of any vigorous output. You haven't been an editor without knowing that routine work is not exhausting and does not prey upon one--that strategic problems are the greatest drain upon one's vital force. Yet with such problems, in every case, that arises, there is the hope that it is the exception..."
On Dial letterhead. "We have received for review, two copies of Red Flag. The one which is not being reviewed I have with my natural thrift secured for you, and we are sending it to you."
"Your concept of life as one feels it in this book is a talisman to hear one company, transcending the winter evening as well as enriching it. "Eyrie" and "Still Water" are to me especially beautiful. There is here so much that is spiritually commanding that it is personally a hardship to me that Mr. Aiken should feel that he must find fault with the musical progress of the poems..."
On Dial letterhead. "We are grateful to you for having allowed us to see the poems and do exceedingly hope that it would not hurt you to give us "The Unarmed" with permission to end the poem with the line, 'and gazing always one way.' But should you rather not, I shall accept your decision understandingly and bear the disappointment with what patience I can summon."
On Dial letterhead. "Your heartiness is real encouragement, and to me it is a particular joy to have the poem. Enclosed is a cheque for twenty dollars."
"I have just returned from the office and do beg that you will let me have a few pages to type. I have the leisure and am exceedingly eager to do it."
"I shan't be able to come up Saturday night. I am so sorry to miss a party at your house; some of the happiest evenings to have ever had, have been with you. We talk of you daily and always we send you our love."
"I am apprehensive to know of your being alone when I know you need to be taken care of, and above all things are not need to give a reception."
"When I last saw you I had no thought of what was shortly to happen to Mother and me--to say nothing of The Dial. Mother was dangerously ill for nine weeks and her recovery, my brother and I knew, was retarded by conditions at St. Luke's Place, so when he got us away from town he found the apartment we are now in, where we can have the use of a sunny roof, and have in our rooms a circulation of air..."
"I am truly blessed in knowing that your book is to appear, and to appear soon. I do honour the publishers for the confidence they show you in their mode of payment. ...I cannot bear to think of your suffering. I do hope the winter will be an easier one than you have had for many a year."
Manuscript of the memorial service for Lola Ridge. Includes the note that Marianne Craig Moore was among the mourners. Folder also contains a TM (photocopy) by Marianne Moore, a review of a poem presumably by Lola Ridge, a TM (photocopy) of Marianne Moore's poem "Sojourn in a Whale" and photocopies of Lola Ridge's entries in American Women Writers, Vol. 3 and Notable American Women 1607-1950, Vol. 3.
No Subnote Content
Moore thanks Secretary Ritchie for her letter and discusses her room assignment. She mentions that Miss Norcross influenced her decision to go to Bryn Mawr College rather than Vassar.
"'Retired' is an anomaly in connexion (sic) with you, Helen. You never will be. When your last revisions have gone to press, or rather when your treatise can be announced, I wish to know where I can get it." Photocopy of letter in folder.
"My La Fontaine keeps me animated and subdued by turns. I am still even making mistakes in the meaning..." Photocopy of letter in folder.
Holiday greeting from Moore to Sandison. Photocopy of letter in folder.
"I am deeply touched by your writing to me.... It matters to me intensely that you do not feel startled--that's to say dismayed--by my being chosen for this Award. On what possible ground could I be thought suitable for it? Mystery." Photocopy of letter in folder.
"Well; may the 'holidays'--all days bless you. You make it easier for me to try to be a benefit to people, blunder as I do." Photocopy of letter in folder.
Moore discusses a visit to Bryn Mawr she made to give a reading of her poetry. "What a consolation you were to me at Bryn Mawr when things did not go too well for me Freshman year--my first time away from home!" Photocopy of letter in folder.
In reference to a reading she gave at Vassar, Moore writes, "I couldn't have borne it if you had even considered going all that way to Vassar. In enthusiasm, good people envisage what is super-heroic. I would not have been able to form a word, had you been listening." Photocopy of letter in folder.
"You just don't know the good you do me, Mrs. Savage."
Moore declines an invitation from Mrs. Savage, who was the Chair of the Friends of the Bryn Mawr College Library saying, "I dare not--hampered (and restricted for a long time) by a near stroke."
Moore thanks Savage for writing to her.
"How kind of you to offset the disadvantages of a birthday by taking your time to look for select, and send me, a unique remembrance..."
"...I hope you would not be coming just to see me; the responsibility of possibly wasting your time and money appalls me;..."
"...If you have verse you might wish to ask about, either mail it to me in advance; or have it with you if it does not need intensive study."
"I have a good many care on me at the moment and am trying to take things philosophically--but may I say that it worries me that you are not more matter of fact about your prospective visit to N. York..."
"The question was legitimate, and if it had not been you can be sure I am not one to 'take offense'."
"Thank you for the Christmas scene."
"I am glad, Mr. Schaffer, that you have had these good months abroad and have been able to be in France and Italy."
"...These days require stamina, with materialism determined, it seems to swallow us up.
"...A little Negro about up to my waist rang the bell (hall-bell) selling Jehovah's Witness magazine...the very picture of integrity..."
On a change of address card. "A friend in N. York who takes the Saturday Review is giving me the Niebuhr article."
"I do wish a blessing on you Arthur Andre-make a prayer for you."
"How handsome and cheering to me, your card of the 'Old Lady' (which I constantly forget that I am)!"
Folder also contains a TM (copy) of an explanation of the oblique references in the letters in this folder and the bill of sale for these letters to Bryn Mawr College.
Written on The Dial letterhead. "The Conrad and the Stendhal briefer mentions came yesterday; the other briefer mentions on Friday. They are very far from "summer" reading or the result of summer thinking; we are proud to present them."
Moore, as editor of The Dial, discusses reviews to be presented by Seldes to the magazine.
On letterhead from The Dial, Moore writes, "We have just received, and it was a pleasure to receive your article on the censorship."
Written on The Dial letterhead. "It is a pleasant satisfaction to have you once more within the Dial radius and I am greatly impressed by your resilience despite the exigencies of travel, trunks, authorship, and official obligation. I couldn't compass a fraction of it even for the glory of being the chambered nautilus."
"After the July issue, The Dial is to be discontinued. I had thought even when last writing you that I might not have this message to give, but our triumvirate must yield to the cruelties of remoteness."
To Mr. and Mrs. Seldes. Holiday greetings from Moore.
Moore responds to an article Seldes had sent her, "I am very pleased to have you to agree with."
"I remember it well, Gilbert. It was at Edmund Wilson's apartment... I am obliged to move to New York, Gilbert; it is not very safe in this neighborhood..."
Moore refers again to the tea at Edmund Wilson's apartment and informs Seldes of her new address.
Copy in another hand. "I am dismayed to see 'April 24, 1959' on your message. I have been away from home and only now received the pages;--undamaged however, and if I seemed ungrateful or under a spell, please know that I could not be more grateful or more charmed than I at last am, in pondering the picture and careful French narrative so typically French in its delicacy and decorum." Note to Mary Case Pevear that accompanies this copy.
"When explaining over the telephone that I had written to my friend at Macmillan's, I unfortunately added 'Ellen Shippen;' so if, despite my explanation, someone should come to you for a position--I don't know the name of the young girl--do be definite and brief and don't let yourself be preyed on or encroached on."
Discussion about what will be taught in the Verse Composition course. "Since you think it might be profitable to include Ezra Pound, let us substitute him for E E Cummings."
MCM thanks Stapleton for sending her seven more poems to read.
"I can surmise how concerned you are about your father."
MCM talks about returning to Bryn Mawr in May.
"Am I not grateful to you, Miss Stapleton, giving me these suggestions about my reading?"
MCM discusses details her upcoming visit to Bryn Mawr.
MCM talks about seeing a boxwood at the Scully residence in Bryn Mawr.
"Your interposition for my welfare-and Miss McBride's will be treasured in memory along with my Award."
"My mind is undistracted and my rooms are in an uproar."
"...Let me say that my brother, Miss Stapleton, wishes to send Miss McBride on behalf of him, me, and my sister-in-law, a daphne...to be planted somewhere among her outdoor plants."
MCM responds to Stapleton's letter telling her that daphnes do not grow in the area.
Instead of a daphne, MCM and her brother will ask Stapleton to purchase something silver for Miss McBride.
"It doesn't seem my classroom, my Deanery..."
"Your chivalry is not wasted-your chivalries indeed. You do not let us feel that we have been pestilent in asking your help with the unobtainable plant."
"Before leaving for Chicago, I ordered of Faber & Faber Ezra Pound's translations-one for each of us and since mine has come, I hope yours has."
MCM empathizes with Stapleton about her father's handicaps and lists some quotations for study.
"I am charmed by the annuals in action and the mechanics of locomotion."
MCM wishes to send a copy of her translation of La Fontaine to Stapleton and Miss McBride.
MCM responds to Stapleton's letter in which she commented on La Fontaine.
"always benefitting me. I am happy to have MILTON AND THE NEW MUSIC; and how great your scrupulousness in letting me seem to contribute..."
"Yes, I could come, and also talk about La Fontaine to the students in your English 211; but not take money;"
MCM gives details about her upcoming trip to Bryn Mawr.
MCM schedules a day for a reading at Bryn Mawr.
"...I received in S. Delivery, from Mrs. Leighton of the Guggenheim Foundation, one of the sets of pages of Yushin's Log and it is surely a remarkable and remarkably perfected piece of work."
"It was anything but inept to attend to the Guggenheim application now. I suffered no harm, took care that I wouldn't."
"I have just been to a throat specialist..."
"I travel now. Could you have me Tuesday the 15th, speak to your English group?"
MCM works out details for her upcoming trip to Bryn Mawr.
"A note; though your masterly, unbelievable order and executing of tasks (obligatory and voluntary) makes me afraid to approach you with my pen."
"I find this hard to credit. I was confident you would get the Fellowship-nothing could be more promising, it seems to me."
"I came on this, Laurence. Don't trouble to acknowledge it." Transcribed copy of a review of Milton & The New Music is included.
"A sore throat; I know how it feels and am sad to infer the several causes-"
"It helps me to know that you are free of academic shackles--free in a sense."
MCM discusses details about a poetry reading at Bryn Mawr.
MCM describes her train travel.
MCM thanks Stapleton for Bryn Mawr's hospitality.
"You are making an embezzler of me."
"I shall certainly not despise the essay." Separate sheet of paper with quotations from unsigned paragraphs in sections entitled 'Comment' or 'Announcement' in The Dial accompany the card.
"...e.e. Cummings had a desperate operation recently and has had to cancel engagements on which he was much dependent financially. Maybe we could speak each for half an hour and I give him all the money?"
"You shouldn't make a special case of me. (e.e. didn't go to Bryn Mawr of course.)"
MCM discusses details about her upcoming visit to Bryn Mawr.
MCM reminisces about her visit to Bryn Mawr.
"There is no real need for me to 'read the article'-if I were afflicted by amnesia perhaps! Even now- in fair shape mentally- I can hardly account for your researches and originality concerning my entirely average product."
"...The Yeats was mutilated editorially so that I am saying at one point just the opposite of what I meant, was meant as a help!"
"So like you to manage to make winter, summer for me."
"The Thoreau Journal-This book is a lure."
"Thoreau as a naturalist-: to you? Ironic that fishing scene..."
"Am dulled - dejected by the death of Bettina Linn."
MCM writes about details of her upcoming visit to Bryn Mawr.
MCM writes about her recent visit to Bryn Mawr.
"This aware, hypercompassionate, scrupulous book of Bettinas."
"Am lost in drudgery-with too many thoughts to move;"
"So glad, Laurence, you could be in Dublin."
MCM works out a train schedule.
MCM thanks Stapleton for her friendship and encouragement. Postcard accompanies the note.
"What an honor to have this letter from you who have suffered so much-mind and body..."
"...It is a great shame publishers are so tardy, reluctant about anything good."
"So glad it is to be published. I don't know Yeats very well."
"Still your student."
"Miss Moore wanted to give Mrs. Thacher something more than an inscribed copy of her book. She signed a two dollar bill and attached it to a gift copy of 'Tell Me, Tell Me.'"
Moore thanks Thacher, the President of the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association, for the check she received for her part in honoring Miss McBride on the occasion of her 25th anniversary as President of the school.
Moore to Mr. and Mrs. Thacher. The poet thanks them for visiting her and for taking care of her transportation when she came for the anniversary celebration.
Moore offers to send a "train-lantern Bryn Mawr pin" to Thacher that had belonged to her friend Mary Norcross, 1899. "I am very childish in thinking my retrieving of the lantern-pin matters so much but you started a trophy-club didn't you and this pin is seldom on me."
Moore thanks the Thachers for a luncheon she went to on their invitation.
"My dear President Thomas, I should like to make application for the room 35 in Pembroke East. I feel that I am justified in doing so, as it would be an effort if it would be possible at all for me to come back next year without my occupying a room of less than ordinary value. I am able to give particulars regarding my financial condition and shall be glad to withdraw my claims to special consideration if I am found to be in less need than others."
Folder contains letter from Lewis Turco giving copies of two letters to the Marianne Moore Collection of the Bryn Mawr College dated April 7, 1977. A letter of thanks from John G. Jaffe, Rare Books Assistant, is included.
"You augment my often tentative efforts incalculably by your instructive pages in the June issue of American Weave."
"I thank you for sending your new book. I look forward eagerly to reading it."
"Thank you Myra, for being a cover girl and for the news of your daughter, Mrs. J. Pulitzer! I seem to make a business of being boorish. If, however, I can at some time attend a meeting of the Friends of the Library, I shall send word..."
"How good of you to write about my trifle of help and my La Fontaine."
"How valiant of you to do this; this writing and promoting [on behalf of the Friends of the Library]. I am not useful in such ways but revere the benevolence and unselfishness of it. I did not know we had so large a library."
Moore expresses her approval of works by Daniel Hoffman to Vaudrin, an employee of Oxford University Press.
Moore approves of Conrad Aiken's Collected Criticism.
"Am growing simpler day by day, subsist on plain rations, am reduced to minimal social life and recreations; minimal "elegance"--am thrifty I mean, despite largesse from various sources."
"Mr. Waldman, what a friend! And Grace, without a moment's hesitation when I said I would miss the 10:15 broadcast, 'We'll send you another' and about 40 minutes before the program your Russian Mercury arrived, with a transistor even better than my first one."
"I enclose the nineteen selections I have made and hope the way I have indicated them will not be confusing. I had hoped to have one of the lowest priced rooms in Denbigh, but evidently Denbigh is a popular hall with upper classes."
"I enclose the nineteen [room] selections I have made... I had hoped to have one of the lowest priced rooms in Denbigh, but evidently Denbigh is a popular hall with upper classes."
"I think there must be some mistake about the room assigned me, for I had selected one room in Pembroke East and all the rest in Radnor. Besides, a two-hundred and twenty-five dollar suite has been assigned me and it is a matter of great importance that I pay but one hundred and twenty-five dollars for my room. Moore is so common a name that perhaps someone else has been confused with me. I am very sorry to burden you farther and hope the matter may be adjusted with as little inconvenience to you as possible."
"If application for the matriculation examination this fall is necessary, I should like to make it now. In my final examination in June I failed in History (Greek and Roman), German Grammar, and English Grammar. As I passed in Punctuation, I suppose I do not have to take that part of the English examination again."
"Please find enclosed my application card for the matriculation examinations. I infer from the form sent me that no fee is charged for examinations taken at Bryn Mawr."
Moore acknowledges receipt of a shipment of books from The Hampshire Bookshop of which Walsh was the manager.
Moore admits she likes the work of Mr. Roche whose work, Antigone, Walsh had forwarded to Moore for critical review.
"I am all of atremble inscribing this little book for these historic schools which my brother has made real to me in having visited them."
Note sent back with something Moore had accidentally taken home with her. "I wish I weren't so clumsy."
Folder 18 contains an empty envelope addressed to Dr. Watson, dated 1927 July 20. Folder 21 contains an empty envelope addressed to Dr. Watson, dated 1957 October 4.
On The Dial letterhead. "Should you think of accepting "The Master Beggar"? The inadvertent flavor of Alfred Kreymborg is against it perhaps, but with a few "changes" I like it. The form of the other poems submitted with it disqualifies them but there is talent in them."
On The Dial letterhead. "If we should not accept Mr. Rosenfeld's offer of the article on American Criticism, I suppose we ought to tell him promptly that we are declining it, so I have written the enclosed letter which is ready to mail if you approve of it."
Moore thanks Watson for his decision on which manuscripts to publish.
On The Dial letterhead. "At the risk of seeming unfortunate, I am writing to say that we still await your comment... [it] could be two, three, or four pages. You spoke of having written a page and a half, so unless we hear from you, we shall count on two pages. If, however, we may count on three pages, or four, would you be so good as to telegraph us?"
"Mr. Munson's [essay] is eight pages and is entitled 'The Socratic Virtues of Irving Babbitt.' It is impressive as showing Mr. Munson's effort to be orderly and simple but I should say no. Mr. Rosenfeld's essay which is eleven pages long, is an appreciation of El Greco's Portrait of Himself. I should say yes, if Mr. Rosenfeld would permit us to reduce it to five pages and to change certain words."
...we have no long reviews for November. Ought not The Vatican Cellars by Gide to have a long review, and should you be willing to review it? Or, if we review it, should you prefer to have it done by someone else, possibly Glenway Wescott? (We could not offer it to Ezra Pound I suppose, until we hear if he will do the Stendhal.)"
Moore thanks Watson for his editorial advice.
"The manuscripts came Wednesday. I accepted the Lawrence and the Damon review and am returning the German articles and Leon Srabian Herald's work. I feel with you, that these pages from Mr. Herald ought to be returned."
Title page of An Extraordinary Revealing Life of Edgar Saltus The Man By His Wife, Marie Saltus with handwritten note in pencil in MCM's hand "I rather mistrust this?
"I suggested asking Mr. Llewelyn Powys to review The Oxford Book of Prose, but do you not think Logan Pearsall Smith would be better? ...I had wished my review of Gertrude Stein to be within three pages, but the make-up seems to require four."
Moore expresses concern to Watson over demands made of the staff of The Dial due to the emerging paranoia of Scofield Thayer, co-owner of The Dial. Includes an enclosure entitled, "Suggested Subjects for a Series of Essays on Anatole France."
"We were sorry to telegraph this morning with regard to Mr. Seldes' leaving. ...We ought, however, ought we not, to secure a substitute? ...I should not object to Mr. Wilson but unless he apologizes to Scofield, I suppose we could not have him. Mr. Cummings articles in Vanity Fair are so pleasing, might we not pre-empt him?"
"Scofield cabled today, a very reasonable inquiry respecting his poem. I have not spoken of this letter to anyone..."
"T. S. Elliot will review Science and Poetry. Waldo Frank declines The Vespasiano Memoirs. Mr. McBride will send a review of Rien Que La Terre by Saturday and Mr. Block's article will come Saturday." Includes an article for Dr. Watson's perusal with corrections by MCM.
"Our news of Scofield was so painful as to create an atmosphere of sorrow which it seemed really impossible to surmount and I marvel that in a single word--such as 'genial'--and the fact that he is aware of The Dial, we could be permitted to hope that Scofield is not in tortured rebellion every moment, or at the point of death as we feared."
On The Dial letterhead. "We are announcing in this issue 'two poems by W. C. Williams,' (March is a Light and Young Sycamore) 'and a poet's acknowledgement,' (the bottle poem)."
"I can't help taking this opportunity to urge you to bring out your Rimbaud in America, by itself, in book form. It has been a loss to our readers to be without it."
"Mr. Latham [of the MacMillan Publishing Company]...says of the Rimbaud, 'We are afraid we could not find a large enough market for it to justify the cost of producing it. In more normal times we might be inclined to take a chance; but these are, as you know, very dark days for the book world and we must watch rather carefully every venture to which we commit ourselves.'" Enclosed is a letter Moore sent to MacMillan.
"These 'royalties' won't solve any problems for you and Hildegarde...but I would like you to receive them, so am giving you the bother of the paper."
"The special thing about The Dial was inherent attraction, wasn't it? But you know my diffidence about thinking I know what you and Scofield would think."
"Warner glories in the hat--authoritative and severe, as it is....he marvels as I do, at your devotion to the guest. Would anyone else on earth, take such exhaustive trouble?"
On a postcard from the Basilica of St. Clement, "The Beheading of Saint Catherine". "Hildegarde and I have been wishing that you were with us..."
On a postcard with a picture of a ruined Greek temple, Moore writes, "Everything looks and seems like this here, Sibley, as you know."
"Back from the Islands, Sibley--saw the crusaders' citadel at Lindos and this shadowy ship in a recess of one stage of the ascent. Rather rugged seeing places, but worth it."
Moore thanks Watson for having her watch repaired and requests that he send her the bill.
Moore thanks Watson for purchasing her brother a hat. (Letter from John Warner Moore to J. Sibley Watson accompanies this card.)
"Your color prints are so perfect, could the same printer make me 4 of the tiny film enclosed? the ball-game? so I could give on to Warner the 26th? (and save me the film?)" Letter is accompanied by 2 photographs of MCM, another lady, and the Mets' Casey Stengel signing an autograph.
"Pardon the inconsequential nature of this letter. I realize that those green pills are unparalleled equine progenterine importance and of commensurate rarety."
Moore forwards to Watson a letter she has sent to a bookstore requesting a book to be sent to Watson on her behalf.
Moore forwards a check to Watson for the use of an article she had written in The Dial. Folder includes letter from Prentice-Hall, Inc. to MCM that accompanied the original check and the check stub.
"Would it embarrass you to ask the man at the Kodak Company to make me 3 more of this film...?" Enclosed are two black and white snapshots of MCM receiving an honorary degree at Moravian College in Bethlehem.
"That little Bewick teapot is the most genial miniature objet I ever laid eyes on--in keeping with the very essence of Bewick."
"Wonderful flowers by the dusty miller. Miss Smith's garden has produced some slip-proof tires! and trees. Hildegarde like me, has a weeping elm, I think."
"You hadn't done it. Procured that sea-green jade with a choice of holes by which to hang it. Nothing--nothing so delicate or so firm! I regard it with veneration and the elephant tusk, peopled with sages or shepherds or forest-folk. The hugeness of your gifts stuns me! Infinite because compounded of romance."
"It seems to me a year since you and Hildegarde were here. And [she] talks of coming about the 20th I am delighted, and most of my penances will be over. And I need not annoy her with those."
Moore discusses the manuscript of Hildegarde Watson's memoirs with Sibley Watson.
"Excited Rat; to Sibley, dear fellow. This rat has a birthday and could play forever with the blue-lined box. Its button is perfection; an octagon! The excited animal finds a cake--with writing on it, Happy Birthday."
"I am dementing myself right now with the Notes to my little book, --that word Imagnifico which I think I saw in Monroe Spears on W. H. Auden but it must have been somewhere else, Well--a few winnowings won't hurt" Enclosed is a typed copy of MCM's poem Granite and Steel.
"That little book, Sibley, is no Christmas present. It's a regular perquisite--and doesn't deserve even a word. Save the time..." Removed from RBR PS3525 O5616 Z54 1958 Copy 3.
"Not for sale or distribution till September 1st They're strict about this" The note was in the copy of "Puss in Boots" which MCM translated and presented to Hildegarde and J. Sibley Watson.
"May I extend our confidence to you in saying that it is the intention of Mr. Thayer and Doctor Watson to give you The Dial Award for 1926."
"H. D. is in Switzerland. I have not her address but anything sent her in care of Mrs. A. W. Bryher...would be carefully forwarded"
MCM reminisces about a museum visit.
"How kind, how needful, your encouragement and reassurances... Never can I forget your welcome... Nor can I forget your ungrudging care of me the afternoon of my last class, and how you pondered the advantages of each Friday in May, for the presenting of the Award. Please infer at least some of the gratitude I feel to you, dear Miss Woodworth!"
"How rare of you, Miss Woodworth, to be glad of my fables... Am delighted that the bookshop can sell it."
"You send me this fascinating Raeburn of the reverend skater and say I am not to thank you."
"The Parisian Apollo is fascinating to an extent that makes little flaws in my calendar of growing up, inconsequential."
"As we ate Class [Reunion] Supper in the Deanery, I looked steadfastly at the mantelpiece and Canalettos and thought how you made my reading start off confidently and with the talisman of friendship to take off the uncertainty...in facing a course of all that is the literary."
Moore thanks Woodworth for having taken the trouble to find and return to Moore a bag she had left at Bryn Mawr during the Reunion.
Moore thanks Woodworth again for her search efforts, saying, "If I had mislaid the gold leopard set with emeralds the size of hickory-nuts, carried off by Queen Victoria (or representative) from Nepal, your concentration on my reprieve could not have impressed me more."
"...The Mazzola-Bedoli girl in the Ashmolean is a great advance on all the Antoines and Elizabeth Ardens in our wicked city."
Folder contains a note with hand drawings on it. Note is in the hand of MCM. Removed from May 22, 1961 envelope.
To the fashion designer, "If you really are a wizard could you not, please make yourself want to make a suit for Mrs. J. S. Watson?"
"Who Looks on Beauty is so full of beauty that even if you hadn't written it I should be unhappy in returning it." On The Dial letterhead.
Postcard of a Giant Pangolin "Foto of Manis Gigantea From Marianne"
"At a meeting of the Rare Book Room Committee of Bryn Mawr on Thursday last, the members decided that we would like very much to have an exhibit of the women poets who have achieved a permanent place in American letters. Naturally we are very anxious to have something of yours... The members of the Committee were wondering if you would consider loaning us a manuscript, a picture or some such that would make for a more personal aspect of the exhibit."
"I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your "Reading Diary 1916-21", which has just been delivered."
"The exhibit has been of extraordinary interest, so much so that we have decided to extend it, and we would be grateful therefore if we may keep the notebook until after Commencement."
"Thank you very much for sending so promptly the list of the books that you will be needing for the seminar on selected contemporary poets. As you surmise, most of these are in the library but the few that are not here will be purchased and available for you at the beginning of the second semester."
"You are a very generous thoughtful person to send the library a copy of your Fables of La Fontaine. It is being placed in its mint condition in our new Rare Book Room and we are very pleased and proud to have it there."
"We have had considerable correspondence with a man by the name of Eugene P. Sheehy...who has been compiling a bibliography of your work. It has occurred to me that you may not know about this compilation and since his most recent letter is about your poems published during your undergraduate years, I felt perhaps I should write to you before releasing this information."
"Mr. S. V. Baum wrote...asking if it would be possible for us to supply your contributions to Tipyn O'Bob and The Lantern. I wrote Mr. Baum that this would not be possible unless he had your permission." Agnew goes on to say that copies were supplied but that his bill had not been paid. She fears he has "misrepresented" himself.
"Please, please do not bother about money owing the college by Mr. Baum. That has long since been written off.... My only concern is that I let Mr. Baum have your material without getting your direct permission. I somehow felt when he wrote that his saying that you had given your permission was sufficient." Attached are Baum's Letters to Agnew, Agnew's letters to Baum, bills from the Comptroller's Office and a photocopy of Baum's cancelled check.
"I had a letter from Mr. Baum explaining that he had sent his cheque direct to the Comptroller's office. I am so sorry that this happened and that you have been bothered."
"I fell in love with the George Platt-Lynes photograph of you the minute I opened my September 19th issue of the Saturday Review...so I am writing to see if you will be kind enough to lend it to us."
"I should very much like to see you for a short while and talk to you. Two or three years ago I wrote you from my home...at a time when I was hunting for indexes to the files of The Dial...Should be delighted with any time that is convenient to yourself."
"The tickets arrived just a moment ago; and the promptness is a delight, although all the rest, of course, is a tremendous disappointment."
"...thank you for your kindness in lending me these magazines; they have been helpful and interesting."
"Really happy to be doing something that might please you even if so very indirectly. Refused to listen to your stern admonition not to take thought."
"Had the good luck just now to find these among some papers in my locker. All of them are yours to keep and do with as you like. I have no further use for them myself, still persisting in not thinking them very good."
"While in Macy's I saw a copy of the huge new Oxford Book of American Literature and noted with special pleasure your own work in it." Littlefield has purchased it for her.
Littlefield thanks Moore for the gift of a cigarette lighter and mentions that the season has been tarnished by the death of a young co-worker of pneumonia. "Last Tuesday I spent some time in the Gotham Bookmart...and finally came away feeling ill. Such a scourge, really, of new little magazines, so many strident ambitions, so many and diverse manifestoes, persuasions, and keys to literature. And so many writers whose only object is a literary reputation,--as though that were a final goal, and not a pleasant by-product!
"It's much too early to make a decision [about seeing Hamlet] for there is a world of time, really a tremendous distance between now and the curtain Saturday night at 6:30. And there's no actual decision necessary; the seat is yours, occupied or unoccupied, merely put off thinking about it...until Saturday, when, if you are rested enough, there is plenty of time for the coat and hat ritual, followed by the short walk to the subway."
"It's absolutely outside of belief that you should bring this heavy bundle here, errand or no errand... Being at the moment distraught won't prevent me from telling you I shall be happy, and content, in knowing that you can now go about outside, and that Mrs. Moore will soon be well."
Littlefield offers some suggestions to Moore of works on College life and continues, "I am grateful to both of you for arranging such a pleasant evening last Friday. I haven't had such a really good time in many months, and keep thinking of it as a little private celebration of your mother's being well again."
Referring to a phone call that he recently had with John Warner Moore regarding the health of Mrs. Moore and Marianne, Littlefield writes, "What he must have been referring to are not courtesies at all... It's simply that one is inspired to protect two such rare persons from callousness and insolence, to surround them with devotion, to build a strong wall against every kind of difficulty. (A wall of books even!)"
Cover letter, showing concern for the health of MCM and her mother, for books which he has sent.
"You were much too kind to send my name to the editors of Measures and Twice a Year. What a risk your generosity inspired you to take. I wish I were worth recommending; I've done nothing worth printing, and I haven't resigned myself to being merely competent."
"You were very thoughtful and generous to arrange that your E. E. Cummings dinner invitation should come to me."
"I had a really good time at the Cummings dinner last night, and I'm anxious to tell you what happened and some of the things said, when I have gotten back to normal. The last four days have been strenuous ones!"
Littlefield provides a lengthy and extensive description of the Cummings dinner.
"You must think I was obsessed with the notion that [Ezra] Pound should meet both of you,--and perhaps I was in a way--but I'm tremendously pleased now to think that the meeting came about. Somehow I thought it an event that ought to be."
"I'm glad you read the Heywood Broun note...I wished that he had made some attempt to link the obscenity and blasphemy in Steinbeck with the flights of fancy writing and strained-for purple patches. I don't believe I have too much respect for the established critics...but I've been amazed by their top ratings for Grapes of Wrath. Not a murmur of disapproval....I could understand the reviewers' blindness to the superabundance of blasphemy and obscenity...but I was puzzled to read no criticism of the regularly spaced 'lyric' passages,--so lush, unreal, forced, and inferior to the average Freshman theme on a set subject."
Littlefield reports that his vacation has begun, that he is practicing his typing and asks after the health of Mrs. Moore.
"Your firmness about the rate to be paid for a page of typing, especially when underlined in red, is something I would not dare gainsay. ...In these treaty discussions between the British and the Russians, you know, the former are always and forever coming handsomely forward to protest that, 'Indeed, we agree in principle, but...' And so it is with the typing."
Littlefield waxes nostalgic about the town, which has changed considerably from its appearance in his youth. He hopes that Moore will send some typing to arrive as soon has he returns to New York.
Littlefield poses further questions about Moore's personal formatting conventions, adding "The typing is coming along very well. Last Tuesday I lost myself in it so completely that I forgot lunch, and suddenly reminded, went rushing downstairs to the Automat about two hours late."
"Surely your saying that I might make an alteration where I find something 'wrong,' is the highest kind of compliment,--but I can't believe that I'm competent to do so; and in the one or two places where I've been puzzled, I've banished any question from my mind, saying to myself that I lack the proper focus to see precisely what you're getting at, in these details."
Littlefield explains his daily schedule and expresses his concern over the health of Mrs. Moore in the heat and with the prospect of many relatives visiting MCM and her mother.
Littlefield acknowledges receipt of another manuscript which had been hand-delivered by John Warner Moore and expresses his regret that he was not present when Moore arrived.
"Your mother's letter and your own are heartening in what they say and demonstrate about improving health, and otherwise."
"Would your mother and yourself like to go to the Fair Tuesday morning to see Iraq and Eastman Kodak?"
"Home for a two day vacation. Left so suddenly there was no chance to ask if you had errands in this neighborhood."
"Both of you are kind to ask me to supper, and nothing I can think of would make me happier. It will be the plainest possible fare, won't it. Sandwiches perhaps, and something to drink? And have me leave at nine, or sooner."
"It takes a day or two in this present mental state to assimilate things said and the wonderful things seen this evening, but before I go to bed I want to tell you how good your dinner was, and how thoughtful,--more than thoughtful..."
Littlefield discusses Hollywood movies, adding "I think I've made another side-splitting error in having solemnly written you about a sheep-dog trial as a court session, when you must have meant sheep-dog tests... However, in the movie there are lengthy...sheep-dog competitions,--and there may even be a court session which puts the 'leading dog' on trial for killing sheep."
"Your note about the sheepdog film reached me Tuesday evening; and though I thank you for inviting me, I couldn't have arranged it, I'm afraid."
Littlefield reports that he is glad he had not earlier offered Moore suggestions on finishing a short story she was writing, as he particularly appreciated the different way in which she handled it. He discusses works by Henry James and André Gide.
"I was very glad to have your reassuring sentences about my work; and I shall follow your advice explicitly, in a thankful and concurring way. Ezra Pound's postcard sounds like such a large order. Perhaps I should avoid the declaration of faith he seems to ask for until I hear from you...and in the meantime, write him a pleasant letter..."
Littlefield offers suggestions for the dust-jacket for the manuscript they are working on and discusses news items about the war.
"I think it would be wrong,--and certainly a fatal injustice to your story...to allow Mr. Latham to be its sole and final arbiter. If he really thought that the book was an inexplicable deviation, and that in refusing it, he was doing you a service,--and not himself;--I should applaud your generosity toward him, and your courage of the less obvious kind, in treating his letter as a decree."
Littlefield discusses the technical writing of Ezra Pound and mentions that he is due to write a volume on the poet.
"Your letter about the Pound compendium has raised my spirits; it is about the most heartening letter ever to come my way I think."
Littlefield continues to discuss Pound, "Just exactly as you say, it is a mistake to compile a digest for publication, singling out the publication, as the guiding aim in constructing the digest."
"However this project may turn out, you mustn't feel 'responsible'...for anything, excepting for the encouragement and help you give me. I feel greatly inspirited again (as I did last summer, while typing your story)"
"...the manual,--or rather, digest,--progresses extremely well, and the thickets and underbrush are not too discouraging so far."
In reference to a letter from a student at Wilson College asking for personal information about MCM, McBride's secretary writes, "The enclosed letter was received in Miss McBride's office this morning. Mrs. Paul has suggested, in Miss McBride's absence, that I forward the letter to you."
With regard to Moore's receipt of the M. Carey Thomas Award on May 15, McBride writes to settle details about the dinner to take place on the evening of the ceremony.
Katharine McBride's speech for the presentation of the M. Carey Thomas Award to Marianne Moore. Invitation to the presentation is also in this folder.
"Everyone speaks of your kindness in answering letters. I am struck by the fact that through this award we have put added burdens of this kind upon you--and very sorry. Do please ignore us, except to come for a visit from time to time!"
"As you well know the occasion of the award was one I shall never forget. I need no reminder and yet I shall greatly enjoy having the additional reminder."
For the occasion of the Bryn Mawr College's 75th anniversary convocation and citations to be awarded. "It gives me great pleasure to tell you that you are one of those to whom the Board would like to present a citation... We would consider it an honor to the College to recognize at this time your work as a poet."
"We shall of course want you to be the guest of the College over the [75th Anniversary Convocation] weekend... There will be many events which we hope you will attend beginning with a dinner Friday evening in honor of those who will receive citations."
Miss McBride reports that she has arranged for transportation for MCM. MCM's reply attached. Also in the folder is the June 5, 1960 release of Marianne Moore's Citation for Distinguished Service.
Miss McBride's secretary forwards a letter from a scholar requesting permission to use Moore's published poems.
"I was pleased that my invitation was one that appealed to you. I should emphasize, however, that the Library of Congress would not want to upset plans already made between you and officials at Bryn Mawr. It would be a cause of disappointment to the Library of Congress if your papers did go elsewhere, but we would rather bear out disappointment grimly than act in any way out of keeping with the obligations of the national library."
"I have been tempted before this to write to you..."
"I have just come back from a few days in New England, and here is your reassuring letter (reassuring because it makes me feel that my lengthy note to you was not an unwelcome interruption).
"We--the students, & Kathy McBride, & guests who came to your class--well, everyone at all that you saw here--miss you."
"I don't believe I can ever describe how I felt when I opened the sturdy package from Viking, and found The Fables, and then opened the book and read your inscription."
"How much pleasure you created, in your short visit, for the students and other listeners that afternoon!"
"So many kinds of goodness emanated from your being here that I can hardly single out one--yes, I can. Most of all I was happy that you seemed so well."
"Thank you, Marianne, for the dauntless Pocahontas from Fruitland Museum. I have nothing worthy of her so resort to an ordinary piece of note paper."
"Here is the little book of drawings I thought M.M. might enjoy, & that would not tax her."
"You understand, Marianne, that I seldom write, unwilling to add to your stacks of mail."
Thacher writes to Moore to ask her to write a poem in honor of Katherine McBride for her 25th anniversary celebration.
Manuscript with corrections of a speech about Marianne Moore. The folder also contains a letter from Frances Browne to Barbara Thacher which says that Moore is working on the poem as well as a memo from Carol Biba regarding a box of flowers that had been ordered for MCM for the McBride celebration. Additionally, there is a text describing the events of the anniversary with particular attention to MCM. This text is dated 1972 February 2 and is addressed "To the Editors." A manuscript with handwritten corrections by BT entitled "Some additional Comments by Miss Moore, before I forget them" dated 1967 March 8 in included.
Speech on behalf of Marianne Moore Fund
"We are naturally distressed by your library's decision not to lend volumes of The Title for the Moore era, the more so since their unavailability was neither stated nor implied in your letter."
"I have had some correspondence with Miss Moore about the bibliography which you and Mr. Lohr are compiling."
"I telephoned Marianne Moore this morning and she said she would send you the hand-written verses of 'Combat Cultural' which she read in Goodhart Hall.... She thinks they ought not to be shown until after The New Yorker has printed them." Attached to this letter is a news clipping from the February 13, 1959 Herald Tribune of a poem by Marianne Moore called, For February 14. An editorial called, A Valentine from Miss Moore, is also attached.
Letter regarding adding MCM materials to Bryn Mawr's library.
"When I attended my last reunion you told me that you wanted all available material about my classmate Marianne Moore. Here is a postcard from her..."
"I am probably extra-dim, but I am afraid that I do not quite understand the meaning of the slip (enclosed) which I received this morning."
"This is indeed an order for the work by Marianne Moore. The announcement you sent did not mention the price nor that money was to be sent in advance. Please send the unsigned copy at $25.00 and invoice in triplicate."
"The following are some of the more recent and available publications of Marianne Moore..."
"I am reading you a rather nice letter from Edith Hamilton. I met her at little dinner parties the Leubas(?) gave when she was a graduate student."
"I enclose these cute notes [from Marianne Craig Moore] for your collection."
Berry notifies Hammond of the publication of MCM's book Like a Bulwark.
"Marianne if told about the matter of Mildred Plessinger's portrait I know would be eager to try to meet the requirements of writing script for it."
"When I read Marianne Moore's obituary in The Times I thought of those summer days in New Canaan when I met her with you and what a pleasure it has been for me to have know [sic] such an unusual person as she was."
"When we first worked on the two sides of that big desk in the fron (sic) upstairs office, she scrupulously felt it her duty to tell me how severely she judged my writings. Then, in time, we developed a quite humane modus vivendi. I got a glimpse into the ingenious intricacies of her conscientiousness."
Celli sends regrets to Biba that "Look" Applauds cannot include MCM in their column.
"Marianne stopped to see me on her way to Kittery, Maine..."
A. di Gesu recounts his interaction with MCM when he took pictures of her in her "10th Street apartment."
"These studies (I think) give one quite a feeling of knowing the little lady [MCM]!"
"I hope the enclosed copies fill in some of the gaps in the Lester Littlefield correspondence recently received by Bryn Mawr."
To Bob Wilson of the Phoenix Book Shop: "We have in our collection a fair number of Marianne Moore items. We are trying to complete our holdings of her works... I am sending you our list of desiderata in hopes that you might have some of the items..." [Attached is a list of the desiderata of Marianne Moore.]
"I wonder if any of the New England colleges have ever thought to ask Marianne Moore to read? At Dartmouth I seem to recall suggesting her name, but somehow it was considered inappropriate to invite such a shy person when the platform performances of the more dashing Miss Millay were so widely...advertised. You have probably seen the interesting Eliot introduction to Marianne Moore's Collected Poems." In black, loose-leaf book kept by Littlefield with note that this was enclosed in a letter to MCM.
"Last Friday evening your sister came over to Manhattan, and way out of her way to bring me a most useful and excellent cigarette lighter, so that I might have it for Christmas. The little note on the package said that the gift really came from you....much more important to me than any possible use is its history, the knowing that it came from Miss Moore and yourself."
"...I revive, and feel now like someone I recognize."
"When I saw this Victorian Panorama I thought you might like to have it for a few of the pictures, and a paragraph here and there. You must not be at all impressed, though, for the book sold for only a few pennies."
"I was truly relieved Saturday to learn of your gradual but certain recovering. You will give all your time and every bit of your energy these next few weeks to becoming stronger and really rested, won't you? ...Could Miss Moore send me a note in a week or so, telling of your progress?
"I hope to see the House of Seven Gables while here-my 10th visit to it I guess-and shall want to send you some pictures of it."
I hope enjoyed To the Victor; and that the pleasure derived was greater than the trouble of going in town."
Littlefield apologizes for not replying to Mrs. Moore's letters, thanks her for the dinner she (and MCM) gave him the night before, and concludes by expressing his hope that her health will continue to improve.
J.D. Littlefield offers to send to Moore a loose leaf book of correspondence between his late cousin, Lester Littlefield, and Marianne Craig Moore.
"It pleases me that you will accept the loose leaf notebook sent under separate cover. I hope the pleasure you derive from it approximates mine in sending it."
"Thank you for your letter. I am always glad to have suggestions, especially if the suggester has heard the poet read to a sizable audience with good effect...Miss Moore's poems I know, but I feel that she is too abstruse for a general audience. The too abstruse and the too popular are so expensive, have both to be considered in such a series." In black, loose-leaf book kept by Littlefield with a note that this letter was enclosed in a letter to MCM.
"I'm glad you like the lighter. It's of no value in itself; but if it shows you I'm grateful for your kindness this summer, it has served its purpose; and it may entertain you and be a convenience.
"Here are some negatives that are yours. I appreciate the use of them very much."
"Thank you very much for writing to me as you did. I was shocked and sad to hear of Lester's death. He was a friend of long-standing of my sister, and she valued his friendship. I would very much like to have the loose-leaf file of correspondence between Lester and Marianne, and am grateful of your offer of it."
J. Warner Moore acknowledges receipt of the loose-leaf correspondence file and adds, "Lester was a person of scholarship and many interests and, as his letters show, a man of great kindness. He was fortunate to have a relative equally kind and conscientious, as you are..."
"It is commonly thought I believe that a true evaluation of one's life can be made only some years after one dies. I am moved to say, however, that although I can claim no credit for it, the accolade of your presenting to Marianne the M. Carey Thomas Award on May fifteenth, has crowned my life, though once removed, as nothing else can crown it, now or later."
Moore offers to purchase a flowering shrub for McBride as a thank-you for the award and dinner, saying "Memorable as were the events of May fifteenth, their spiritual values, as is ever so, transcended them and grow the brighter for me as the days go on. Your tone of voice, may I say, when you presented Marianne with the M. Carey Thomas Award was thrilling, as implying a gift not merely official but from the heart."
"Your letter has been a great pleasure to me, for we wanted the award to be given just as you felt that it was given. But never as I thought ahead to its presentation could I have imagined the evening your sister gave us. She carried us away and made us each feel that we were sharing with her, as a friend might, her recollections about Bryn Mawr and then something of her present experience in the fables and the poems."
Discussion about purchasing an appropriate plant for McBride's garden.
John Warner Moore to J. Sibley Watson, thanking Watson for the hat he has purchased for him. (Postcard from MCM accompanies this letter.)
"Here are the copies of the obituaries of our father, John Warner Moore, for the Bryn Mawr College archives." 4 printed obituaries are enclosed.
"We are delighted to hear through Miss Stapleton that you will allow us to publish Mary Warner Moore's correspondence with the college secretary. Enclosed are xerox copies of the letters in our possession... They may be of interest to you and certainly don't need to be returned."
Moore grants permission to the college to edit and publish the recently-discovered letters of Mary Warner Moore and Marianne Craig Moore and thanks Hinson for sending her copies of the letters.
"In order to afford full protection to Mrs. Moore's correspondence, and to acknowledge your generosity as well, we would like to state that the letters are under copyright of the Moore family. I hope this arrangement will be satisfactory."
"Did you ever publish the letters of our grandmother, Mary Warner Moore, and of Marianne Craig Moore in Bryn Mawr Now? We should be glad to see the article when it's ready."
"Yesterday, a most beautiful bouquet of flowers came to my daughter and me, that has become two instead of one, and we see your kindness and great giving whenever we pass through the little long hall, or come into our living room. I wonder if you could come over to see us, and enjoy them too--say Saturday evening?"
"Marianne was as distressed as I, that your laborious trip should be futile, and that you should again be at a closed door--that was ours! O never take again a risk that hurts us through and through!"
"Having heard nothing of us but dire vexations, I think you would like to know that troubles are quieting. I didn't know I was proud; or thought I did 'well' by my children, but since I am learning humility by seeing myself cared for by day and by night, I see clearly that I felt important in household work, and fully able to take responsibility of what made the day go forward, but not now!"
"I must prolong our telephone conversation just to say as it were, Goodbye. But I say it as fathers would, in its beginning use- that is, as your father & mine would use it--for you brought me as much more yesterday than you knew in your remembrance of Marianne. I feel just as she does, that her closest friends must be protected from outlay on her behalf and not even be burdened with more things to dust and handle. (It is the unloved public we would tax--large hearted Christians that we are.)"
"Would it be possible for my daughter--Marianne C. Moore--to take her preliminary examinations here in Carlisle? She is already registered on your books as an applicant for entrance to Bryn Mawr in 1905, and hopes to take the preliminary examinations in May of this year." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I thank you for your letter...and for the sets of examination papers which you sent me... Miss Mary J. Norcross who is an alumna of yours, and is not engaged in teaching, is a resident of Carlisle, and perhaps would be willing to give the examination." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"It has seemed to me it would give my daughter a certain amount of assurance could she test her strength by representative examinations which I should give her from your pamphlets... The subjects she hopes to present in May are Physiology, Latin, French and Algebra." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"Thank you very much for the pamphlet of examinations which, with your letter, I received last week. Scarcely had I written my last letter to you, when a letter from Miss Norcross to me, arrived; in which she told me she would be glad to proctor my daughter." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"In order to be in good season, I write now to make application for my daughter's examinations in June. You have already granted her the privilege of taking them in Carlisle, under the care of Miss M. J. Norcross." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I am sorry...that an increase in tuition is necessary. I have been teaching for four years in order to make college education possible to my two children...and of course under the new arrangement, the weight is greater; I am sorry from another point of view also--to make Bryn Mawr the most expensive college, is to mark it as representing not the bone and sinew of the land, but the fibre that has grown without effort. If such criticism appears, in a stranger, unwarrantable, allow me to say that one cannot subscribe to a college without having in it a sense of ownership, and responsibility regarding its attitude toward the world." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"Will you tell me what German Reading the professors of German recommend in preparing for entrance examinations: prose, poetry, dramatic selections, or all three? My daughter, Marianne Craig Moore, hopes to take the examination in June; and so far has done only a trifling amount of translation." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
Mary Warner Moore requests that MCM be permitted to take her final entrance exams in Carlisle with Miss Jackson as proctor again and asks about her room assignment. Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I thank you for your good wishes for my daughter's success... She has for years been deeply attached to the interests of Bryn Mawr, and is curiously at home in her feeling toward the College. We read with pleasure the fine article in one of the Boston papers on Bryn Mawr; its nobility of being..." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
Mary Warner Moore writes to request the last set of entrance examinations and specifies the subjects of: "German, English, Algebra, Geometry, and Greek and Roman History." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
Mary Warner Moore writes to request a change in date and time of MCM's English examination because of her unwillingness to let MCM travel to Bryn Mawr alone. Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"I am grateful to you for your wish to consider my perplexities in regard to settling my daughter in her prospective school home; the kindliness of your refusal to transfer her examination certainly takes away the bitterness from disappointment. ...I doubt not Marianne will gain the worth--in experience--of any burden or unpleasantness that results from our various handicaps in getting her to her destination." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"When Marianne was at home, she happened to mention that when you had asked her to give her father's business or profession, she was obliged to own that she did not remember what it was. That she did not, evidently had no trace of queerness to her; but I at once determined to answer the question myself. For the sake of statistics, I know it is important that otherwise unimportant questions be asked; and answered. Marianne's father...was a mechanical engineer by profession." Folder contains a typed copy of this letter.
"Were I born in another time, in the time in which mothers took young children to One, that He might lay his hands upon them and bless them, I should take mine; my two children--And I also should say to Him: 'Here is yet another child,--the little book, called Sun-Up--bless it also, and send it out on its way, with the smile of God upon it."
"I trust you will be greatly aided by being in a more retired spot... Marianne takes great pride in the achievement you have made in your precious book. She sends you love and far-back congratulations."
"Someone hinted to Marianne that you had had cheques that you had not expected and were unwilling to use them....If I may say so, I do feel that one who checks and throttles generous love, stultifies the life of another. Does the wrong not go further? Is it not saying to the Father of us all--'I refuse thy gift; I do not like the way you send it.'...Be patient, dear child, with goodness, as you are with ill; and have that faith which sees in the dark."
"Marianne and I are heartsick at thought of your helpless buffetings at the hands of one physician and another; you as a blind man being begged to reach here; now there; and for you neither rest nor respite."
"I am not by you to drop in with flowers, or a bowl of soup or a chicken, and I am so much a child that I cannot be denied an innocent enjoyment without being injured. This so-called--money--is just in the rough my rose, or my loaf of brown bread, brought you again through the winter. To deny me would be to deny love, with from Marianne and me you have, and ought to let us give of to you always."
"I can hold the examinations [for MCM] this spring in Carlisle and I am glad to be able to do anything to make the arrangements as simple as possible for Mrs. Moore. There was strong influence brought to bear to have Marianne sent to Vassar, so I am especially glad to do anything to help the cause of Bryn Mawr."
To M. Carey Thomas, "After carefully considering the position of Assistant Bursar, I have decided to accept your offer of it."
Letter thanks Mrs. Mason for returning a photo of MCM, presumably used in an edition of The Evening and Sunday Bulletin.
To JSW "Elizabeth Roberts wrote a book of poems called "Under the Tree" published by Huebsch."
To JSW "Aware of the fact that you and Mr. Powys are very good friends, I feel our dilemma in the matter of his book, Bridlegoose, to be a grave one."
To JSW "Could we condone the obscurity of the college magazine or shall I tell Mr. Kwei Chen that we are not at liberty to publish MY FRIEND THE BACHELOR?"
To JSW "On writing Laurence Gilman today it occurred to me that Scofield has expressly stipulated that no change in the staff be made without consulting him, so I addressed a note to him in care of Mr. Riccius saying that I had suggested Laurence Gilman and that you were willing to have him as Mr. Rosenfeld's substitute."
To JSW "Since Mr. Galautiere's essay measures 10 pages instead of 6, we have rearranged the order of the make-up a little..."
To HW "With regard to the play - to be thwarted by bozos about which one knows a great deal is a distress but if things do not go as they could, I hope you will feel as the indelicate Rivera felt about the Detroit murals..."
To HW "When I opened your letter I dropped the check out and in picking it up, thought I saw $3.00 on the corner and hoped you were asking me to do an errand for you."
To HW "Remarks like those of your niece would intimidate me if it were not that you are protected against witchcraft - like the man Yeats speaks of, 'and blessing he was blessed' - you are so generous in your care of others and so pardoning."
To HW "Since your letters came yesterday, I feel as if I could not say a word, ever; but want you to know what a pleasure it is to hear about the animals you saw, and the mandrakes."
To HW "It is good news to us that Friday or Saturday will bring you to New York and we shall book for you any afternoon you say for I know you will not let the many things you have to do, defraud us of our visit."
To HW "I'm afraid some haven't the reasons I have for not being a fatalist."
To HW "I had been thinking--with regard to the Bates--for treatises are expensive--that one ought not to be too sincere in letting people help one, and seeing it, does not relieve my sense of oppression;"
To HW "It is a beautiful thing; I can't [?] your sending it unregistered."
To HW "What an El Greco! I have never seen anything by him to which I was indifferent and this is a maximum peak of sensibility."
To HW "Your dazzling and exciting secret burns holes in the pocket. I am so delighted that you think of appearing in one of your talents."
To HW "Being willing to work means success--and you are--but I pale at the thought of such fearful closings and goings as those connected with music."
To HW "That is news--that you think you are going to be stronger than in recent years."
To HW "You are overwhelmed by the film--by the strength of it and the interrelated beauty of the various high [fruits?]" Letter contains illustration of a flower.
To HW "I wish you need not have felt bothered the day you had planned to leave New York,"
To HW "Your letter is as Mary said about her present, a glorious and terrific thing."
To HW "There is too much to say for any of it to be put in words, but in a blank of saying I will tell you that I hope never again to know how it feels to see something come close and slip into nothing..." Typed poem (not by MCM) attached to letter.
To HW and JSW "About your sympathy, and wish to send a nurse and doctor--for of course the agony to me of this experience has been the jeopardy to Mother." Letter is 6 pages long on Japanese stationary with flowers.
To HW "The [?] is so beautiful I am keeping it on my desk door at the foot of my bed."
To HW "I don't know how you can say such things--or wish to say them."
To HW "No no, dear Hildegarde, You must come for luncheon. On Saturday afternoon at the Institute that auditorium is full of children with candy in rustling papers..."
To HW "I have just got back the poems with a somewhat frightening-courageous note."
To HW "Pressed flowers usually lurk in a book to afflict the person trying to verify something;"
To HW "These are beautiful things--startling in their perfection;"
To HW "I hope it is true. Judging from my own heart I think it must be."
To HW "Not in your realizing about telegrams but in all ways, you take care of us."
To HW "I am glad Lot was at 66 Fifth Avenue but marvel at the way I keep missing it. It will be shown other places I feel."
To HW "[Griff?] makes you feel as if every degradation & desperation known to humanity were in you and yours only; so I am sorry about Jeanne."
To HW "Mr. Shapiro promises special showing of Lot Tuesday morning time and place to be telephoned me Monday Monarchs of the Air at Institute Wednesday evening wish you and Sibley could see both and would have supper..."
To HW "We are not ready yet to walk in the Elysian Fields and when I saw the flowers I kept saying 'How Beautiful!'"
To HW "...The music is a triumph and I shall not be satisfied till I hear some of Virgil Thompson's organ music."
To HW "I should like to see you feeding the ducks. You should like Wagner's island in Switzerland - with your mother and Jeanne and Michael journeying to see you."
To HW "Your return this afternoon--about three--gave us strange feelings;"
To HW "You are very consoling and as I am beginning to realize, self-stabilizing;"
To HW "You say in your letter to Mother 'We are soon off' but I think you are still there?"
To HW "Your beautiful German words and English words and carefulness of friends and prowess have consoled us in the midst of inner and outer chaos." Letter has drawing of a firecracker at the top.
To HW "Your letter, a much wished for one, came this morning."
To HW "Your letter on the hall table was a cheering sight when we three got home Friday afternoon, and did us real good, though not good too, since like the one I had from you in Norfolk it did not tell us how your back was."
To HW "We were both thinking, as Mother said, last evening where we saw these flowers, may the garden of your mind never be without flowers and the song of birds."
To HW "I know you can't sing without singing on a certain day but I can scarcely confess the excitement of the thought"
To HW "You would be disgusted, dear Hildegarde, if you knew how the first thing we think of is health and how we read your letter anxiously, to know if you have been well." Letter on Japanese stationary with a pressed leaf inserted into the page.
To HW "What an exciting Thanksgiving Day and Friday and other days (I'm an expert in making flowers last)."
To HW "It is like you to bring us a plant with-pink flowers-I think it is heather-and a snowwhite gardenia, and I shall just thank you."
To HW "We are stunned, and turn away from ourselves that we could be capable of possessing so much, as being a principal in what you have done. I am afraid to go on existing."
To HW " 'Mrs. Moore and Marianne' --how it makes Hildegarde seem to be here with the flowers, more even than that the flowers have brought Hildegarde;"
To HW "I lost my head as well as the rest of me and came away with the press notices in my pocket--the notes were so much for us, but I shall never lose them."
To HW "Your uncle. How this grieves us;"
To HW "What ways are yours. And what they result in. Mother was saying yesterday how glad she was you were as we know striven for in Cleveland..."
To HW "Wondering about you and wishing things about your concerts."
To HW "Like the Indian princes with my baggage full of white clothes; and the requisitely invisible stocking in a safe corner--though I took a spare pair of the wrong kind in case a weevil should get in unaware and gnaw a hole in one..."
To HW "To think of your being ill. How much there is to that, I fear."
To HW "I have been writing you letters and you have been spared the reading of them..."
To HW "Here is a letter from Anne that I think you might like to see;"
To HW "If it had to be on or the other, Sibley would not be long in choosing between the writing and any picture;"
To HLW about HLW's singing and the Lasell family.
To HW "The telephone just now rang and I couldn't but hope it was you."
To HW "...I am happy the concerts had not withered but seemed when you got to them to flower as they should."
To HW "How remarkable of you to be able to think as a holiday approaches, of someone else's holiday!"
To HW "How eat breakfast and do other ordinary things with your letter before me? I couldn't for I was somewhere else, away with you."
To HW "Even if the babies had not been mixed up as in Pinafore, they would not be so very right but both are dressed--and the offensive croaker does not croak as it did."
To HW "Hildegarde, did you not know that we are two mitted Cranford villagers?"
To HW "One almost never feels that it is really the person who is speaking-rare experience."
To HW "It is only you who could make us (invalid hares) wonder if we ought to freeze ourselves--shut all heat off."
To HW "I am glad the wild flowers did you no harm, or lunching with a wild animal."
To HW "I am sending you my book, the much portended "lizard" " Included in letter are clippings, one of a flower and the other of an airplane.
To HW "Sick yourself, and giving to us, and thinking about us!"
To HW "What letters! --making potent thoughts come flocking into the mind."
To HW "...We are well, and slothfully industrious, with books, sewing and kitchen-shopping."
To HW "So you have been dancing; you must tell me what you wore when we see you,--what you each wore, and if there was a moon."
To HW "What has stricken you! I had a strange feeling about you but brushed it aside. Mother was reading Mrs. Eddy Sunday evening; and there had in my mind a long time some things to ask you; that is, discuss with you--arising from this book."
To HW "You can't think what pleasure it was for me to be with you there listening to Gilbert & Sullivan."
To HW "...We think you are in Rochester perhaps, but hope the concerts were not altered or delayed in any way and make you know even better than before what you are going to do next."
To HW "How can it be that of some who love one another it is yet time that giving comes only from one and always the same one?"
To HW "Dear Hildegarde of the flowers and stars, and large heart drawn with marvelous effect of [?],--a valentine is much received in this desert of Arabia."
To HW "It makes one faint to see, let alone think of wearing, anything so beautiful. Silk so fine, such ingenuity and minutely deft execution!"
To HW "As sweet the violets seem as when you put them in the letters; the blue so real and intense against the blue of your writing."
To HW "Just after talking to you that day on the telephone, when we had got back from Norfolk, I was talking to a Mrs. Norman...who is thinking of starting a magazine, 'if there is a need for it' and if there are some who are not writing so much as they should be, or are not writing at all."
To HW "What tremendous implications in the first lines of your letter! I could not be guilty of laughter nor dare I groan and lament!"
To HW "Are you there, --having songs and wisdom for the autumn? But how like a tiger on fire for recklessness of you to take time when you were in the midst of so much to write me!"
To HW "Stars and candles are sublime things to give, and in order to see them, there must be twilight."
To HW "First wish respect to the missing package,--which I would rather have send and had lost, than that nothing went to you from a spot which never loses the sense of your presence."
To HW "What sculptures, Hildegarde! How could mind or hand have fashioned that narrowness and that sacro-sanctity of remoteness, and how could you be thinking of them or us, in this momentous return from your concerts?"
To HW "...Nothing but music can say what music is; but this [ordeal?] report of how you seemed when singing in Brussels is a joy in every word."
To HW "I wish very much that you could see this movie of 'a road-runner' (a very lovable bird) photographed by the Woodards who photographed 'the River'. Letter has news clipping attached.
To HW "I hope this Easterlike day is doing you as much good as your letter does us,--the radio playing the most excellent tunes although it turned off, and the sun shining."
To HW "...We are proud of Michael--though in shattering fear of him, to tell the truth,-and his confederates Palestrina and Satie."
To HW "How like you to have us each in your care;"
To HW "We have been poring over your program of November 5th, imagining and re-imagining what it might have seemed to the audience, and how the triumphant climax, perhaps left you feeling."
To HW and JSW "The Christmas star and flower, and sprig of holly, with the frightening gift underneath, make me so I cannot speak as think."
To HW "New Year's Day! As we went down town on a mundane errand after your receiving your Christmas week letters, Mother said 'that much of life! I go out with peace in my soul.' "
To HW "Your letter to Mother, Hildegarde, is a guide for one to life--not just life but the life of Christ as we try to relive it." (Important letter regarding Mary Warner Moore's health.)
To HW "I've been bothering with Woolworth safety-pins that jam or rust the dressings or keep me annoying Mother when I can't get them through the material, and the ones neighbors have got me are no better and knowing that Hildegarde's things "happen to work," I'm asking if she could conjure me up two papers of the tiny ones and two of the next larger? I enclose the size and a dollar. There is no hurry."
To HW and JSW "Who but you could transform helplessness into peace and assurance?"
To HW and JSW "Dr. Kramer has been here and said 'the time for blood transfusions is past. She's over this, every evidence that she is...' "
To HW "So dear, Hildegarde, of you to keep with us at home and as you travel."
To HW "To be vague is to be stronger so say no more, dear Hildegarde. I understand."
To HW "I have longed day by day to tell you and Sibley how she is, but feared to be premature, the ultra-short wave apparatus made so immediate a change for the better apparently."
To HW "We don't see you and feel far away."
To HW "After writing you last, I almost wrote you again--feeling that you were sad and [?] with intensifying pressures of some kind--but not knowing what to do, only knowing what to write--I did not.
To HW "To entrust us with Jeanne's letter--which no amount of describing could have suggested!"
To HW "...I have thought so much about the 'party', and Michael and Jeanne, and Mrs. Lasell, and yourselves, knowing that in bringing to pass what was not easy, and what at best is almost from your work, you can make a precious and memorable thing of it."
"How shall I ever tell you what I feel in thinking of your thoughts about illness, and your saying the customary resig[nation?] is all wrong."
To HW "Mrs. Watson 'well.' "
To HW "Such beauty! The mulberry suit with its imperceptibly squared shoulders and tiny herringbone, and [?] buttoning buttonholes on the sleeve, so very French."
To HW "I'm glad you know me so well you know what I feel and can't say."
To HW "...Mother, Warner and I are alone here, while Constance, Johnny, Mary, and Sallie and Bee are at Wellesley..." Pressed flower is inserted in the letter.
To HW "We are in New London and were thinking about you and wondering if you are at the Farm, when your letter came."
To HW "After such a letter, Hildegarde, as yours to Mother, how am I writing you just an ordinary note, and perhaps unnecessary, but we now plan to go back Monday to Brooklyn."
To HW "I am to this exasperation of insufficiency in my attempt to receive "souvenirs" of The Dial, by your help and willingness to be with me in it, is a relief I'd hardly looked for, and I have been as busy as a fly on a window pane correcting more things..."
To HW "...It is an excitement to us, that in thinking of the Farm, you could imagine us there again;"
To HW "Your thoughts about music,--about [?] which increases only through more minute attention to detail, and the process reversed..." With a drawing of a holly at the top.
To HW "When write you "must" let it be to me."
To HW "These wondrous faces--here as by a miracle,--crowding together so one just thinks of the fragrances and unsordiness, and garden liveness."
To HW "The blouse, the mere thought of it when we are not seeing it at all, makes our lives different."
To HW "Loved Hildegarde, who strives, who prays only for what is in accordance with God's wish, and good for all! Aware that you suffer, we do not know how..."
To HW "As we sat in the sun on the window sill, Hildegarde, Mother reading the Sentinel, she shared with me such triumphant things; and there I saw a poem..."
To HW "...Mother though something light would be better, since it is almost summer so we decided I could wear the white dress you helped me get; that I wore at Bryn Mawr."
To HW "I wonder if you have been to Vassar, Hildegarde, besides being with me on Wednesday! It was all so nice, --despite premonitory agues of unconfidence."
To HW "How happy we are to feel, as you make it seem, that the singing and work you must do are just right..."
To HW "...The warfare with [?sation] ought not to be so dire it seems to me, in view of such things;"
To HW "How consoling, Hildegarde, to know you are gaining; and that you have been where trees and water can look as they do in the twilight picture..."
To HW "I wonder if I said, Hildegarde, that we are looking forward to the 28th as the day we shall be coming to the farm?"
To Mr. Raymond Jorritsma "May I say for Mrs. Watson who has left it for my mother and me to decide just when we shall be arriving at the farm, that my brother will be bringing us Monday afternoon, the 28th, and two of my nieces are to accompany us."
To HW "What a feeling to be here in the midst of love and my real beauties..."
To HLW "...Your voice and the picture of you here right away almost;"
To HW "Its you made the conversation interesting after dinner remembering so naturally and optimistically this or that person and experience. I hoped we were not doing you harm."
To HW "We are so happy, dear Hildegarde, that you can say you are well and going to be well."
To HW "The precious enclosure--from Ruth Carver 'So much lives even in death after all.' How I treasure this, Hildegarde..."
To HW "Yes dear Hildegarde, you wrote,--a letter that has been making us happy ever since; been making us think in prisms."
To HW "Your blue dress, Hildegarde, had much to do with my getting a pass on my talks, for it distracted attention from what I was saying, and really monopolized the conversation afterward..."
To HW "It is like Sibley to put urgent things aside and give that first-aid instruction. What wouldn't I part with if only I could attend; would like to have the instruction--even from anyone--but especially as he would be systematizing and giving it. I have two resuscitation formulas, and the Red Cross First aid booklet, but there seem to be contradictions..."
To HW "...The name of that young musician Hildegarde, is Britten. I don't remember his first name. And his Requiem that the Boston Symphony played is 'Sinfonia da Requium, Op. 20'... "
To HW "These consoling, almost imagined things you say, dear Hildegarde, about my poems, and how Michael played the Bach; and the gift of the beautiful shoes, and not a word about the music and the hovering possibility Vergil Thomson mentioned!"
To HW "...Jean Wahl (Professeur Jean Wahl I should say) is an eff[?] teaching exile, escaped from prison; and just now at Holyoke--one time at lunch he said he had asked Mrs. Cummings..."
To HW "Just now we looked into a book of peasant art, about Sweden--at white bone utensils and hanging--buttons of hammered silver..."
To HW "Rushing help to us and yourself doing up the package--the dainty yellow pad. But this is not the one!"
To HW "The pad! Although I said you mustn't tax yourself by trying to send it! It came safe and what protection it is. We can now each use one as you said,--and are saved the somewhat hampering delay and effort of changing covers."
To HW "How sink to earth or falter, dear Hildegarde, with such friends as you and Sibley to care?"
To HW "It is not ideal that "Cummings" as I call him (you wouldn't call Homer 'Mr.')--has written the introduction himself. How touching and incredible of you, however, to say I could have produced one!"
To HW "It is as if there were no war and no worries."
To HW "I had been invited to Bryn Mawr by Miss Edith Finch of the English Department and Miss Donnelly who for years was head of the Department, -now retired...I was conveyed from the station by Miss Finch in her car, to a little cell in Pembroke East (dormitory) where a speech specialist with a microphone vainly tried to make me sound human."
To HW "am sending you the Pavlova article..."
To HW "The doggedness and sense that there are no heroes because all are heroes of the war-paralyzes understanding, does it not?"
To HW "...Mother lost a beet-stem (don't be horrified) in the bed clothes--that fell off her lunch tray..."
To HW "For Mother to struggle as she must, grieves me. I found only last night that her shoulder that has pained her, seems to be dislocated or out of joint somehow, and Dr. Nevins is to come to help it in some way."
To HW "...I can't help but think the bright sun will bring mother more independence."
To HW "I said to Mother the when she had read your letter yesterday, 'Hildegarde doesn't know about the Guggenheim award but I think I'll tell her, and tell her that even so we're going to keep her gift for special help for you!' "
To HW "Just to tell you, that Dr. Von Riper this morning was an amazement to us. As Mother said, 'I have had osteopathy before--have been brought up on it--but nothing like this.' "
To HW "...I can think, Hildegarde, what work and vigilance have gone into this occasion and the delicacy of your planning in having the Cummings with you."
To HW "How dear, how dear! This little jewel that is also useful. And the 'aura' about it of your thoughts..."
To HW and JSW "How penetrating, how touching, that in extremely yourselves with that helplessness to relieve suffering for those one loves."
To HW "I have been thinking about this. Jeanne, it would seem to me, needs something enticing? That is undecidedly hers to fix her mind on; --and look at? Of course she likely has it."
To HW "The geranium seems to enchant Mother into a thousand joys."
To HW "But 'welfare and happiness' surely are meant for you and Sibley--and if you could see hopeful, grateful almost..."
To HW "I hope that you will never be too sad to feel that flowers are speaking to you. We were shocked that you should bring more than yourself, when recovering from great effort and with strain of various kinds..."
To HW "The blue coat is exactly like Jeanne, and I do not see, I think you must have imagined, that it would not be just the thing for her."
To HW "I shall dragon guard these gloves and be often saying to myself that I have them;"
To HW "We are excited and grateful to have the clipping--so glad we may keep it. The account of the apparatus is a wonder of science itself. Had Sibley anything to do with that?"
To HW and JSW "Consolation? a word, just a word. I have always felt, but now?" MCM talks about her grief at the death of her mother, Mary Warner Moore." Signed MCM and John Warner Moore
To HW "You do not need broaches, Hildegarde, and as for pan[?], are a-quiver with memory."
To HW and JSW "The test for Warner this time is something I cannot easily dwell on; and partly to encourage him."
To HW "Maybe you and Sibley could come to see me when I have gone back to Brooklyn?" Map of where Ellsworth is located is drawn below signature.
To HW "What a pleasure, dear H., on reaching home to open the desk and find the inkwell and 6 Sibley Place (on the sheets I enclose)"
To HW "I do not know what to make of myself, Hildegarde. I did not wish to intrude this on you..."
To HW "...There is no answer--merely a longing to have not too great a discrepancy between what you feel, and what one is."
To HW "...Last night I was at a dinner--a 'Tribute to Poetry' dinner given by the Academy of American Poets--rescused by Louise Crane and put at her mother's table with Stephen Spender and the Colums..."
To HW "...I shall not drift away (either) from Elise Becker. I was affected by her as I can't express..."
To HW and JSW "...And what joys you bring to Christmas gratitude, in the word 'Watson Farm'..."
To HW "You have been so concerned for me, I want you to be sure all is well, as it is."
To HW "I became so irretrievably hampered as not to be in [?] sooner or stay better when I got better; ...and I felt apprehensive in misleading Warner about me."
To HW "May I just say, Hildegarde, that my physiological burdens are being surmounted? surmounted for me by you and Sibley."
To HW "So if Sibley doesn't want to be exhibited, I'm recorded...It was asking too much."
To HW "...The fact that the magazine [Chronos] is starting and by no means 'An International Quarterly Review' is a reason for giving it a little something, I think?"
To HW "...I leaving for Washington as you arrived. Constance thought I should see the German pictures. I wanted to see my cousin in Hagerstown..."
To HW "...Tell me do when you have been working something special out...singing or other thing."
To HW "I needn't be so impulsive, Hildegarde, as I am and fear my concern for Dudley Huppler is trying."
To HW "...in the eyes of E.E.C. and Akkeb Tate because I went to the Vanguard Press--Gotham Book Mart [?] where two [?] from Life circled and photographing; and descended on victims at will!"
To HW "...And Sunday, I got home, Saturday afternoon, when called on by an adventuring Frenchman, Pierre Emmanuel."
To HW "...this exquisite dress, so daintily cut..."
To HW "...I am thinking of you ashamed, Hildegarde, to have let you know I had made best preparations for you..."
To HW "...I see that Sibley does not slack off and try to make himself lazy just because winter is over. Neither do we, you'll admit."
To HW "...Jeanne has bad severities so acute is it not strange she has had endurance to surmount them?"
To HW "...but meanwhile, am sending you the picture. --have not given one of these to anyone but Warner, who returned it to me to 'keep for' him. He says, thought, it is my best--'don't have any more taken.' "
To HW "P.S. You so touchingly spoke of expense, Hildegarde. George Lynes gave me the picture--and if he hadn't, what of it!"
To HW "...so if I let you buy the picture, I would just be devoting my life to craft and the ways of the Sacred police for whom Mr. Beedle Smith has such reverence."
To HW "...I'll have to take [the shoes] to Nancy Haggerty's Saturday and see if they can shoe a pre-civilization foot of the saurus kind."
To HW "Wonderful you are, Hildegarde-what a vision of thoughts--are flowers;"
To HW "...You must bear me up as Faust would like to have been borne up into radiance too good for him!"
To HW "I resolved a year ago when the winds were keen and snow threatened to be slush, to get some boots or galoshes so my stocking would not be a hazard (half dry and half snow!)..."
To HW "...I so hope the skies brighten for you and Sibley--and that Mrs. Farell is not having a struggle..."
To HW "...and I have several prospects that are rather a problem as regards dress--am going to the Boston Symphony with Mrs. Coleman..."
To HW "A ticket, dear H., (and if you can't use it, maybe you'll know in advance? So we can return it.) They tell me the series is about subscribed."
To HW "Chamber's Etymological Dictionary doesn't give anything better, Hildegarde" with typed poem "Cherry Tree" by Sacheverell Sitwell and Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable's Entry for Salamander.
To HW "...My first gardenia to wear & first crown jewels!"
To HW "Spiritual currents, Hildegarde. What else could impel these celestial thoughts you have."
To HW "...I meant to write--then was borne along on the current of impersonal pressure have wondered about Mrs. Lasell and if you managed to counteract the image of the hospital..."
To HW " 'Could hardly talk to me.' Hildegarde. 'except to say come.' hardly talk to you. Others' thoughts, others' words are but ghosts at such a time. You are with her, Hildegarde, and I pray she may be spared for you. ...I saw Mother losing the fight."
To HW "I have not yet been able to leave you to yourself, Hildegarde."
To HW "You felt 'too ill' Hildegarde, too ill. You who give strength reading strength. I can hardly bear it."
To HW "...Warner has let me see your letter; is consoled and feels its touch of Grace."
To HW "...Hildegarde, emotionally you must be firm with yourself."
To HW "...'If in New York' you say, before I go to Harvard. Do be, I should feel so strengthened."
To HW "A penetrating welcome, Hildegarde, that mysterious box--which I opened with trembling incredibly."
To HW and JSW "I thought of you constantly at Harvard."
To HW "That was hard for you, going back again to Whitinsville--consolation is out of the question."
To HW "...All is not quite well, when we cannot crown your days with things, consoling and tangible yours and Sibley's."
To HW "Was talking of you and Sibley to Wallace Stevens last evening, after he'd received the National Book Award medal for his 'The Auroras of Autumn,' telling him about the Farm and the dwarf laurel in the rocky pastures on the way to the Devil's Den."
To HW "Have just received Mr. Wilson's invitation--notice and a word or two? Is not this the friend of Seufrelit(?), your's & Sibley's who wrote for The Dial some rather daring pieces?"
To HW and JSW "Official retrospect never before has brought me so close to one all longed to keep."
To HW "...came back from Boston not very well-(had gone to Wellesley to speak to some English students) very nearly fainted at a dinner last week-a long, too late Fund for Intellectual Freedom dinner; and now I have laryngitis."
To HW "I never have tasted such crackers-unsweetened crackers..."
To HW "I missed the Yankee Clipper to Boston and it was quite a serious matter!"
To HW "You don't know how excited I am to think of seeing you and Sibley."
To HW "It is evident to me, clear H., that if I come for commencement--and I am determined to do it--I should not leave till Monday night."
To HW "I have wanted so much to see the paintings (Arthur Wilsons') that I considered asking Lousie (Louise Crane) to come & get me & take me to see them..."
To HW and JSW "No other degree will ever do one the good that this one did. I felt as if I should be taking 'The Cascade Elf', nearly for N. York; but 'Garden Valley' was not an inappropriate one (of the 17 cars coming this direction?"
To HW "The paintings are truly seas of sensibility."
To HW and JSW "It seems to me when I was reporting Wallace Stevens as ultra terse, I might have said what Mrs. Church says every month for a long time..."
To HW "As we sat by the fire after dinner the evening I left, and my eye would rest on your portraits of Nancy Clare with its sea blue background, I suddenly was impelled to say 'you must not subtract my [?] chair from the others.' "
TO HW, "...And the Pietas(?)--the Michelangelo--it is timeless, is it not."
To HW "I have just been on the point of writing you today that Warner seemed apprehensive when I said I was going to wear pink to the wedding. He said 'you get a pink suit or dress, but wear your green dress to the wedding that you wore to Rochester...I immediately saw his reasoning."
To HW "...'Maybe I myself will stop accumulating.' You inspire me."
To HW "...you wonder about my silence when a letter so touching accompanied Jocelyn S's poems. I received them the 6th and wrote you that very evening saying how much I admired his fervor and sensibility..." Letter from HW dated September 10 accompanies the letter.
Christmas Greetings to HW.
To HW and JSW "I make this Nativity an excuse for sending you this rather strange card." Postcard of 'Flight to Egypt' accompanies letter.
To HW "There the former owner of the Historical Society's House was present--at this church meeting."
To HW. MCM discusses her trip to Boston
To HW "I am felled by a jag of work (as Warner calls it). Book XI to emend and type before I leave for Maine and must make a call and attend a party..."
To HW "I wish I might see the exhibit, Hildegarde!"
To HW "I feel [?] by reason to me of what you told me--of your stay in Maine, Bishop Laurence, Claire, and Michael;"
To HW "Have just been looking at Esther's smiling face in 'Life' for this Friday; and how commanding is Wallace Stevens with his frown."
To HW "A symbol of yourself, Hildegarde, this exquisite thing with its silver ribbons and white pearl pin"
MCM writes to HW and JSW to inform them of how to reach her in the upcoming weeks.
To HW "I went away excited and am still excited. The treasure, meanwhile, of this elephant is standing by Warner's picture and ever so often, I take it off to put it back in the envelope which says 'elephant.' "
To HW "How am I go about (?) with this position of the Crown Jewels making me--treasure for the Tower of London!"
To HW "One of our tenants here in the house for a time--James Freeman was in the (?) Department at Tiffany's but decided to go into a watch making enterprise of his own."
To HW "I am so refreshed, Hildegarde, by talking with you."
To HW "Marion Crocker was seated in the classroom with my twelve students when Miss Stapleton and I appeared. All rose and were introduced."
To HW "Marion Crocker's courtesies and generosities, Hildegarde! Every day but one, of my series--English '211'--she was there competently equipped with her pen & notebook; (and her verse is very very good.)"
To HW "Are you at the Park Chambers, I wonder?"
To HW "...What a hard sleep for me to miss seeing you."
To HW "We indeed do 'know several things,' Hildegarde, in matters sacred to our essential selves."
To HW "How beautiful and brave a friend, Hildegarde, Sent for to help Jeanne--yet you pause to get his message to me."
To HW "...Jeanne so far from you; and the Farm!"
To HW "How deprived I am, Hildegarde, so eagerly waiting till your telephone--call might tell me that we were to meet--And instead, suddenly rushing away to Washington. Connecticut by way of New Canaan."
To HW "I am consoled that I did not miss you by my errand to Connecticut."
To HW "Well--you know it all before I tell it, and how childish of me to elaborate. The Hospital is so liberal toward me. I marvel--trusting me to stay even three hours since I sit quiet or wait on Marcia, and let her sleep or talk as she finds she can--"
To HW "In my extremity, Hildegarde, I made you suffer too--which I ought to have known a way not to do."
To HW "...These things are mysterious but living [?]. I said to John, Sunday, 'No one can prove the fact of Deity but I am sure of it as that I am alive.' He said, 'So am I.' "
To HW "Hildegarde, the impossible! I have felt again and again since the storm, 'if I could just see that tree again!' "
To HW. MCM discusses caring for her friend Marcia.
To HW "To think of your telephoning me, Hildegarde! waiting till I came down, then talking to me as though face to face with no hampering sense of the clock."
To HW "...Jeanne's room 'across the way'; and yourselves so near, to be with and speak with! What demonic compulsion could ever rob you and Sibley?"
To HW "...I was looking up 'Conscience' in the Britannica at Warner's suggestion--couldn't find it..."
To HW "How you give, Hildegarde, something and everything. The Plato and what you say of the pictures taken in India..."
To HW "[Life] magazine took a picture of me in Mrs. Lasell's cape, took it from a distance--of me overtaking six children with balloons--conducted along from a path of the Zoo by their parent (or a man with his proteges). I have been impatiently waiting to show it to you."
To HW "I deplore the fact that I was not home to talk with Michael"
To HW "...I came home Friday."
MCM writes to HW to discuss meeting up in NYC.
To HW "Wednesday I spoke at Warner's school and last evening at the YMHA. I hope this is all for a while; but no matter how much of fool or flea museum I happen to be, the people are so kind."
To HW "I see Chicago in retrospect--knowing that you and Sibley were there on your honeymoon..."
To HW "Life is lent lustre by the fact that some live--and have lived..."
Christmas Greetings to HW.