A note from McNair about this letter: The “porno poems” of paragraph, referred to elsewhere as “dirty poems,” are two off-color poems leftover from my chapbook, intended to reflect the hormonal explosion of teenhood. They weren’t very good, and as I created more poems for my full-length book, I finally dispensed with them.
A note from McNair about this letter: The Raynos, twin brothers and former high-school students of mine, introduced me to their neighbor, Don, knowing that I wrote poems and would appreciate the favor. To them I owe my correspondence and my relationship with Don, which have lasted until the present moment.
Read Kicking the Leaves (published version)
Read Flies (published version)
Read The Black-Faced Sheep (published version)
Read Ox Cart Man (published version)
Read Names of Horses (published version)
A note from McNair about this letter: Eventually a chill set in between me and Nicanor Parra. After our first, enthusiastic, meeting, he began to distrust my method of translation, done with the help of native speakers, and I became less enamored of his poetry, as my comment about the Cristo de Elqui poem at the close of this letter implies.
A note from McNair about this letter: The two poems I refer to in this note are Hair on Television and The Bald Spot. The first draft of the former poem may be found in the letter I sent to Don on 9/19/1979. I completed The Bald Spot during my final days in Chile, showing it to Don on his return to New Hampshire.
Read The Bald Spot (published version)
See also a selection of McNair’s manuscript notes and drafts of “The Bald Spot.”
Read Memory of North Sutton (published version)
A note from McNair about this letter: My enclosed poem “Beggars” results from my numerous encounters with beggars on the streets of Santiago.