Hall to McNair: January 28, 1980



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28 January 1980

Wes McNair
Dept. of English
Colby-Sawyer College
New London, NH 03257

Dear Wes,

Thanks for the mini-poem. It is an absolutely magnificent
idea, it will be a marvelous poem – and I don’t think it is
quite yet finished. I think that there is a certain awkwardness,
and haste, perhaps, about the end of the poem. I don’t think
we should have a comma after “now.” I think that “the guilt
about their weight,” seems awkward in its little words. And
I know that “fade like a dream,” is the most total of cliches.
And things get a little clichetic further on. “Steaming with
food,” and “appetizing,” and is “seen” the right word? I like
the third line from the end. I like the second line from the
end pretty well – I think the last line is OK but I think it
could be a whole lot better. I wish you would keep it around
a little longer, the way you tend to do anyway, and intensify
or freshen the last half or third of the poem. It is a marvelous
notion! Dear to my heart!

Fine for removing those three poems from circulation –
after they come back from the places where they are currently
being read. Be sure that Howard Dinin waits for Joey’s release.
It would be embarrassing – for you, for Amaryllis, Inc. – if
these poems were taken by another magazine, and then Joey had
to say that they were not available. Be certain about this,

I had a good letter from Howard Dinin, and I will be in
touch with him shortly.

We had a lovely time with you, also, and loved the photographs.

I’m glad that you are enjoying String. Did you see that
my children’s book took the Caldecott? We will be able to
build the new bathroom!

Love to you both,

Editorial note about this poem: Though McNair does not send Hall a completed version of his “mini-poem” until 3/29/1980, his final revisions at that time reflect Hall’s concerns.

Read The Fat Enter Heaven (published version as sent to Hall on 3/29/1980)