47 Glencairn Avenue.
Toronto, February 18, 1958.

Dear Mr Pitt:

Thank you for your fine letter. I should have answered it before, but I am still a bit under the weather.

I shall deal with your questions numerically:

  1. The pencil markings in Magic in Everything have no significance.

  2. Our lists have a close similarity. Your additions are welcome. I should, however, prefer to leave out 'The Passing of Jerry Moore.'

  3. I am glad you included 'Putting Winter to Bed,' and particularly 'Inventory of Hades.'

  4. All your suggestions on page 2 are excellent.

  5. Keep the biographical study to a minimum. Benét's introduction contains the relevant elements, all but the reference to Irish whisky. Keep that out, for heaven's sake, or I'll be up on the carpet. Have you seen Pacey's Ten Canadian Poets (Ryerson Press) just out?

  6. Tentative: My first long poem written 40 years ago was never published. A few friends of mine got together, and, unknown to me, privately printed 500 copies in New York for personal and non-commercial distribution. It doesn't bear my name and I never bothered about retrieving it. My wife has only one copy and she had a printer run off a second. It is the most 'Newfoundland' poem I ever wrote, and I was amazed to find that it was delivered over the radio by Arthur Phelps on my birthday. People have written in hoping to get a copy but I should rather have it published first in your Newfoundland collection if it is published at all. As a first long poem it is a bit amateurish and if you thought it advisable, you might edit it. I leave the matter of inclusion in your capable hands.

  7. An erratum. There is a typographical mistake in 'Silences.'

    'And silence in the growth and struggle for life,' should be
    'And silence in the struggle for life.'

  8. An important exclusion: Please do not put in 'The Fable of the Goats.' It is laboured, ambiguous and bathetic. Exclusion, moreover, makes room for 'Towards the Last Spike.'

I leave everything to your editorial judgment.

Sincerely,
E.J. Pratt


suggestions
On page 2 of Pitt's letter (8 February), he had suggested including 'carefully selected extracts' from The Cachalot, The Titanic, Dunkirk, and 'a fairly large portion of' TLS. He also suggested that he write prose 'bridges' linking the selections from BB, 'so that the sense of the narrative will not be lost.'

first long poem
Rachel, of which he enclosed a photostatic copy. The poem was included in the book without editorial mutilation.

'And silence in the struggle for life'
Pitt passed on his amendment to John Gray of Macmillan, but the poem was published in HTF without the change and as it appeared in both editions of CP (1944, 1958).