47 Glencairn Ave
Sept. 19, 1956

My dear Ralph:

It is always grand to get a word of appreciation from a man like yourself whom I admire and love. You have ever been a great friend of mine and (apart from it) when you come to Toronto I shall put up a real 'stag' for you at the York Club with your friends to 'circle' you at the dinner table, if the geometry of the room allows the 'circling.' You have a lot of admirers in this city.

My wife and I took a long look through our shelves last night but could not find a single copy of Verses of the Sea, the reason being, I suppose, that most of the poems were included in the Collected Edition eight years ago. I haven't written one thing of value since 'Towards the Last Spike' three years ago. If you haven't a copy I shall gladly send one to you! I am sending a copy of 'Poems for Senior Students in High Schools,' just published. It may sound a bit ridiculous, but the book contains only two poems – Chaucer's Prologue and the Roosevelt and the Antinoe. As it was authorized by the Board of Education 20,000 copies were sold by Macmillans at once and this helped to pay our grocery bill, since I retired from Victoria College on a pension. I wonder if good old Geoff has been turning over in his grave at the companionship. The students have to take the book willy nilly and since Macmillans own the copyright, they and the Board have to shoulder the responsibility of disturbing Geoff's dust by the proximity.

I am delighted that you are returning to poetry. You have a fresh note unsurpassed by anyone writing. And then your novel! I trust M. & S. have enough sense to put their weight behind it.

Blessings on you.

With much love,
Ned


'Poems for Senior Students in High Schools'
[sic]. Poems for Upper School 1956-57.

your novel
Entitled No Music in the Nightingale, it has not been published.

M. & S.
McClelland & Stewart.