June 29, 1945

Dear Ellen:

Your letter just arrived and I am answering it at once by airmail. I received a letter from the C.B.C. today to say they were repeating the poem on Sunday July 1 as a special feature in the celebrations. The Nova Scotia broadcasting station is doing it on a later date in July.

There are a few corrections I would like to make:

(1) Under the title in the actual poem not on the book necessarily unless you think it advisable, should be in brackets or parenthesis (A Canadian Poem):

They Are Returning
(A Canadian Poem)

(2) Instead of

Between us and the Prussian boot
Upon our altars

read

Between us and the regimental boot
Upon our altars

'Prussian' is a bit conventional here.

Instead of

'To learn how to refine an infamy
Like Oradour, Distomo, Lidice –'

read

'To learn how to model an infamy
Like Buchenwald or Maidanek or Lidice –'

Note the line

'And so they went, those boys turned into men'
is a paragraph in itself

Instead of

'Or, in the Athabascan way'

read

'Or, in the Skeena-Athabascan way.'

Will you ask Miss Eayrs to look up the exact marking of Saint Lo & Crecy. I think it is Saint Lô and Crécy, but I am not sure at present.

If there are any suggestions you would like to make write me air, and I shall answer pronto.

Don't work too hard yourself, and don't go tittivating too much in the hot weather. 'Tittivating' is a very generic and comprehensive term.

My affection unhampered to you all.
Ned


tittivating
To tittivate is to 'make smart or spruce; to 'touch up' in the way of adornment, put the finishing touches to' (OED).