[1939]

Dear Earle:

Your letter and batch just came to my office. I do not think that any one of these poems deserves a prize. It is not enough for the writers to have social passion: they should know how to channel it. 'The Vats' is the best for its imagery but the piece is greatly marred by that weakly-phrased reiteration 'Don't speak to me of war.' Besides, the protest has a note of a scream, – too melodramatic.

Ned Pratt.

P.S. As soon as we get domestic help we are going to give you & Esther a party. We haven't forgotten you.



In answer to an inquiry from D.G. Pitt, Birney writes that the date of this letter is 'Probably 1939, enclosing poems submitted for a prize in which EJP. & I were both judges.'