McNair to Hall: January 16, 1983 (2)

Letter from McNair to Hall, January 16, 1983, Page 1, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire

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January 16, 1983

Dear Don,

I am sorry that you two can’t come over
this month, but I understand why not,
and I will write you again about it
in late February March.

In the meantime, here’s a poem which
I hope you’ll look at sometime between
readings and trips.

My best Christmas present was two
books by Donald Hall—The Weather for
Poetry and Claims for Poetry. I am
still poring over them and enjoying them.
With all the talk about the lack of
poetry criticism today, I’m glad to


have so much of it (the criticism) at once!

Incidentally, I recently read for the first
time, and liked, the essays in Living off the Country,
from the Michigan series. It made me
go back to Haines’ poetry—especially that
of Winter News, which I had never seen

Thanks for all that good reading!
Hope to see you and Jane soon –



The chickens cannot
find their heads
though they search for them,
falling in the grass.

And the great bulls
are now on their knees,
having no idea
of how to stand.

The sheep cannot find
their voices. They run quickly
on their sides,
watching the sky.

–Wesley McNair

Editorial note about this poem: Haines is the poet John Haines.