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|January 17, 1981
I do hope your “big son” is at least relating ok –
taking nourishment, and even drinking an occasional
beer, as I think I recollect he enjoys doing. At least
what happened can be mended – no doubt the mending
goes on right now, and that is good. My thoughts
are with you during this unpleasantness.
Thank you for sending the notes from Poetry. I
am awfully pleased to know the poems will appear there.
The lift this gives me is especially important at
this time, since, to tell the truth, I happen to be
going through a very down period. In the past
few weeks, I have found myself crying a lot,
immersed in regrets of various kinds, painfully
aware of the cost of running too hard in
my life. I am told “This Thing” happens to
others. Did “it” happen to you at roughly my
age? I have been, I think, fighting it off
for a couple of years, at least. But the thing
is here now, full force. I guess I am relieved
in a way to have lost control, to have found this new
contact with my emotions; yet how much everything
hurts! And how irrelevant the “main memories”
of my life feel!
You can see, then, why I have not written to you
for a while. I believe I am ready to do better
with that now. But I did want you to know why
Even writing is hard to do – that is, poetry writing –
especially when I am in the process of discovering
how much about my “inner life” my poems contain,
even when they are about subjects quite removed
from personal experience. Of course, I always knew
all my poems were autobiographical, as everyone’s
are. It’s just that I never knew how much
autobiography was there!
Anyway, I do send a poem along – a new
version of a piece you saw earlier. I hope
to be sending other stuff, too, in the not-too-distant
In the meantime, best to you, your son, and
your wife – and thank you again for all your notes.