Unreal Nature

June 16, 2017

“Sorry”

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:35 am

… Maybe you will find something here you like enough to publish. Maybe twice a year is better than once.

The following are letters — or portions of letters — found in Between the Lines: A History of Poetry in Letters, 1962-2002 compiled and edited by Joseph Parisi and Stephen Young (2006). Daryl Hine was the editor at the time these particular letters were exchanged:

Sandra McPherson to Daryl Hine ………………………………………………………………. [n.p.], 24 October 1969

Dear Daryl Hine,

Thank you for the acceptance and thank you for the request to do a review. However, I think I am going to make it a rule for myself never to do reviews. Writing them contributes to one’s pocketbook, not to one’s psychic health. I once wrote a review on Brother Antoninus [William Everson], who in his book was obviously having enough problems with women without me adding to them …

Best Wishes / Sandra McPherson

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Daryl Hine to Stephen Dobyns ………………………………………………………………. Chicago, 17 December 1969

Dear Mr. Dobyns,

Your review, entitled Five Poets, has been exercising my editorial attention. It is too long, not merely for our requirements, but for its own good. It is, I’m afraid, frequently repetitious, redundant, verbose and, all too often, irrelevant: autobiography is not criticism. On the other hand, it is also often perceptive, pointed, and even witty. Accordingly, I have cut it, by about a third, and have also done what I could with the split infinitives, dangling prepositions, and your odd coordinate conjunctions, a practice that, though recommended somewhere by Ezra Pound, can be overdone.

[line break added] You will understand that it would be tedious to detail and explain every change I have felt it desirable to make. If you agree, in principle, to this editorial despotism, you will see its effects on your essay, eventually, in proof; if you cannot wait, we could send you a Xerox of the piece including my penciled corrections. And if the whole thing seems an outrage against free expression, not to say grammatical license, you may of course withdraw your submission — though I should hate to lose the best parts of your review.

Sincerely, / Daryl Hine

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James Atlas to Daryl Hine ……………………………………………………………….. Concord, Mass., 24 April [1974]

Dear Daryl,

It was very good of you to write as you did; I appreciated your conciliatory tone, which was perhaps more than I deserved. I have not felt easy, over the last year, about the suspension of our friendship. I trust you will look on my outbursts as those of a young man.

The review of [Richard Howard’s] Preferences was originally written for The New Republic, which accounts for the rather journalistic pose. I found that writing for such journals, The Nation and The New Republic, trained me to compose in a more supple, less clotted style; and yet the editor there was not in sympathy with my views in this case. As I think back over the reviews I wrote for Poetry, I realize that your criticisms were, for the most part, just; it is only recently, writing full-time, that I have come to possess a more lucid style. I would like to write for you again, and in the “higher” style your pages allow.

[ … ]

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Linda Pastan to Daryl Hine ……………………………………………………………….. Potomac, Md. [March 1975]

Dear Mr. Hine,

I have been sending a group of poems to Poetry once a year since I was so advised by J.V. Cunningham, back in graduate school. And I am not being sarcastic when I say that I was encouraged, last month, to receive my first personal word from Poetry … a “sorry” written in pencil. (Well, only a little sarcastic … )

Maybe you will find something here you like enough to publish. Maybe twice a year is better than once.

Many thanks, / Linda Pastan

A note appended to that letter reads:

Pastan first appeared in Poetry with two poems in January 1977. She eventually published over 80 poems in the magazine by the time she was awarded the Ruth Lilly Prize in 2003.

My previous post from this book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

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