Feb. 10, 1951

My dear Earle:

Don't worry about the Commonwealth issue. It's just the luck of the navy and must be accepted. No one anticipated Monteith's sickness. He may be more ill than we know. In any case I can make use of the poem. Your liking it is of more value to me than Monteith's acceptance had that been possible.

Our family listened in on your 'Gawain' for the whole hour. We were thrilled. It was a superb piece of work. I have been telling it to the C.B.C. fellows and all and sundry. You were magnificently equipped to re-tell the tale with your knowledge of that period and above-all with your poetic gift which is all the time growing. You head your own generation in this country (and I could go farther afield if I were drawn into an argument on the point). Vi was breathless with the beauty of the story as you fashioned it, and directed me, nay, commanded me to tell you in my next letter.

Only today we were talking about starfish and she was reminiscing on that afternoon which was such a delight to her. Bless you and dear Esther and Bill. How I wish I were near enough to chortle the latest story going its rounds into your receptive ear.

Much love.
Ned.


Commonwealth issue
Birney had invited Pratt to submit poems for a special issue of Poetry Commonwealth. See the letters to Birney, 17 February and 18 November 1950.

'Gawain'
A radio adaptation by Birney of the medieval romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was presented by the CBC from Vancouver on 3 January 1951.

reminiscing
During the Pratts trip to British Columbia to research 'Towards the Last Spike,' Viola had gone with Birney on a sea-side expedition. See the letter to Claire Pratt, 9 September 1950.