McNair to Hall: March 9, 1983

Letter from McNair to Hall, March 9, 1983, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire

[Click image to view]

March 9, 1983

Dear Don,

This is without a doubt bad timing, but I believe I have
just decided on the proper form for my book. I wish I could have
made the changes you’ll find in the enclosed earlier. In any case,
they are not extensive ones. I have taken out five poems and
added two new ones. The poems I’ve deleted are: For My Father,
The Thin Man, the two verses on “fat”, and Beggars. I hope I can
put these in a future volume, but I’ve come to feel they interfere
with the shape that’s possible without them. The poems I’ve added
are: Small Towns Are Passing [& “After the Ice”]. Also, I’ve added chapter headings
derived from poem titles–this to explain the movement of a journey
backward in time–and I’ve put back the citation from Roethke, again
to underscore the idea of the journey. It seems to me that the new
text is more coherent and gives the poems of the book a new interest
and resonance.

I imagine the manuscript you have is out right now–in which
case, I hope you’ll just leave it wherever it is. I’m assuming that
the changes are not so significant they can’t be discussed later
if Joey should happen to hit. If your manuscript is returned for
other submissions, the enclosed could be mailed.

Unless, of course, you and Joey feel that the enclosed is
awful. Please let me know what you do think, when you can. Also,
please tell me if this month is still open for a possible dinner
here…I enclose a check taken from the Poetry money I got. Sorry
for the delay; I kept forgetting!