Hall to McNair: July 10, 1978


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10 July 1978

Wes McNair
5716 C. Colon
Santiago 10

Dear Wes, Dear Goucho [sic],

Good to hear from you. The Parra book sounds almost
untranslateable. In such a curious way, sfound poetry depends
upon the true naïf, and I would imagine that translating it
might always make it sound faux. Which is not to say that it
is not worth struggling with – and that you might not even succeed.
But it does sound hard!

We were just to the wonderful conference of English and
American poets at Stony Brook. Chile was very much a subject
of poems: Adrian Mitchell, one of the English poets, had
sheltered a Chilean refuge and her children for awhile, after
she managed to get out, after her husband was tortured to death –
famous guitar player and singer – by the Pinochet gang.

We brought Geoffrey Hill back up here with us for a few
days. Wonderful. I think that possibly he is the best person poet
writing in the English language. Sometimes I think he is one
of the best who ever wrote in it. He gave a wonderful reading
last Friday night. I wasn’t too bad myself, Friday afternoon.
I told Geoffrey after his reading that there was only one other
poet on the two continents who could read as well as he. He
did not hesitate for a moment, in identifying this poet.

My book ought to arrive any day. [Written in margin: Just came!] Jane’s will be another
month or so I suppose. We look forward to your return.