McNair to Hall, May 21, 1984

Letter from McNair to Hall, May 21, 1984, Page 1, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire

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May 21, 1984

Dear Don,

Well I, too, am excited by the switch to “I”
in that poem–anyone would be. And I like
(to be clear this time) how the change in stanza
three has activated the title, offering new meanings
for machine, death and life. I guess I remain
literal-minded about metaphor, so that I expect
that every metaphor have a clear literal meaning,
as well as a figurative one. Why The New Yorker
published the earlier version of the poem in spite
my expectation is a mystery. I should perhaps
find here a clue to my own bum luck in trying to
publishing there! Anyway, I like the poem–though
I still do stumble on its last line!

Misc: Thanks for using me as your example!
As I think I told you, I am currently an
applicant for another NEA grant, which would,
if it came through, give me more time to
write. I expect nothing (mostly). I would
very much like a copy of The Alligator Bride.


I had one, lent it, and never got it back–
since the lendee is now in Alaska, I may
never see it again, and I miss it!

What would a good time to come and
discuss teaching creative writing? Some
afternoon at the end of this week, maybe?