March 15, 1944

Dear Bill:

I am interested in your visit to Wellesley. Miss de Banke was up here in Toronto last spring and conducted some choir readings in the Collegiates. She is a lovely woman and was greatly admired by the teachers. She has a marvellous voice. I got a great thrill when she read 'Dunkirk' through before an audience of 700. She is to come here again next month. She wrote asking me to join the 'celebrated' group – yourself, Spencer, Scott et al, but I cannot get away from my lectures. She had seen your kind reference in the S.R.L. How much I should like to be with you for that recital. Spencer wrote me a generous letter some months ago. Although I have never seen him, I seem to know him, as he is a friend of Professor Douglas Bush of Harvard – an old colleague of mine in Victoria College. Give my best respects to him and to Miss de Banke.

Thanks for the invitation to contribute something for the Review. I looked over a few pieces I had left but decided they were too scraggy for publication, and I haven't written anything worth while for several months. I am busy going over the proof of my Collected for Macmillans. They want plenty of leeway for an assured appearance in September. Knopf, thanks mainly to you, is in communication with Macmillans and will represent the U.S.A. side of things. I am a bit excited bringing out a 'Collected' after twenty years of writing. I have left out most of the early verse, which now seems to be somewhat immature. The book will be the realization of a life ambition and I trust the American public will be receptive to it. 'Brébeuf' will be included. It has had a sale of 6000 in Canada and is still selling, Dunkirk running it a close second. Al1 my books, excepting Brébeuf, will be new in the U.S.A.

I think I told you that at least a dozen Canadian newspapers and magazines quoted your notice in the S.R.L. You are very much beloved.

I hope to get to N.Y. next fall with Vi and Claire. If I do I shall spend a week or two and it will be such a delight to see you and Marjorie again.

My very best as always,
Ned Pratt

My regards also to Mark Van D if you see him.


Wellesley
Wellesley College, where de Banke taught.

group
See the letter to Cécile de Banke, 12 January 1944. Poets invited to the 'Festival of Spoken Poetry' at Wellesley College included Leonard Bacon (1887-1954), Muriel Rukeyser (1913-80), Benét, as well as 'Spencer' and 'Scott.'

notice
Saturday Review of Literature (16 October 1943).