Hall to McNair: May 1, 1980


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1 May 1980

Wes McNair
N. Sutton, NH 03260

Dear Wes,

Many thanks for your good long letter about the poems.
I’m delighted that you like the “6 October…” I sent these
out to a good number of people, and I guess that most of
the people whose opinion I respect like this one best. It
goes over big at poetry readings! (Believe me, I do say
that with the sense of the ghoulish…) And Robert Bly thinks
it is probably one of the worst ones ever written, etc. I
sort of knew he would. He is crazy about anything connected
with my father… I mean sort of insane. Still, you have to
wonder… I am really glad that you like it.

I take most seriously your suggestions about revision
And will keep them with the poems to keep looking at your
Suggestions. I know that the Chickens poem will change.

I am not quite sure what seems unrealized in “The
Glass” now. You wanted me to break the first stanza into
two parts, but you did not make any other suggestions. Can
you make any further suggestions about this one? I really
think that your suggestions about Tending Fire are going to
save that poem, which I have felt slipping away from me…
That is, a lot of people have felt that the end of it was
too domestic or comfortable – and I couldn’t quite see that –
but now I see why it is, as I believe anyway – because of
the first three lines.

And I think you are really helping with remaking the
Whip-Poor-Will also – which needs it!

I will show you some more in time – and of course I
will show you these again when I straighten them out or
attempt to.

Thank you so much!

As ever,