McNair to Hall: February 14, 1980


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February 14, 1980

Dear Don,

Thank you for your good and kind letter. Of course
you may have “The Thin Man” for Harvard Magazine.
That you would request the poem lifts me somewhat
from the gloom of the past days. I feel extraordinarily
blessed to have your faith and good will.

Needless to say, I am grateful for your
continuous mailings and remailings of my poems,
and for your suggestions about my own
future mailings. I thank you especially for placing the
two poems in Poetry. Ever since I began writing
poetry ten years ago, I have wanted to appear
in that magazine. Having poems accepted by
John Nims is especially meaningful to me,
since he once encouraged me in my writing
at Bread Loaf. (I took a class called “The
Craft of Poetry” with Nims when I was
getting my M.A.) You may be absolutely sure
that the poems Nims accepted have not been
published in, or sent to, any other magazine
or newspaper whatsoever.

Last week, I sent a note to Nims, thanking
him for taking the poems and reminding him of


our association at Bread Loaf. Even as I wrote,
I was unable to glory much in the acceptance,
it was so intermixed with the awful problems
I had created for us both. After reading your
letter, I am beginning to feel better about it.

Thanks once again for the kindness you
Have shown.


P.S. I have just read in The Argus of
your Caldecott Medal. What a wonderful
children’s book “The Ox-Cart Man” must
have made, especially with “primitive”
illustrations – just the right thing!

Read The Thin Man (published version)

Read Ox Cart Man (published version)