Letter To Anne, Postcard Six

Day: Wednesday Night, Night Six
Food: Mash Potatoes, Beef Stew, Green Bean Casserole, Salad with Italian Dressing, Iced Muffin, Bowl of Rice Krispies with Milk, Two Raisin Bread Sandwiches with Grape Jelly
Weather: Sunny and nice.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Letter:   Lives of great men always remind us we can deepen our lives more.

Wellfleet, Massachusetts, 1933

I suppose you know all about Mary Macarthy’s wedding by now. I wanted to go to it, but I couldn’t make it in time — they only run one train a day down here now. From Margaret Miller’s description, it sounds like a very emotional affair. She said the bridegroom managed to keep from crying throughout the ceremony.

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Posted in Anne, Postcard

Letter To Anne, Postcard Five

Day: Tuesday Night, Night Five
Food: Fettucini with cheese, hotdog and bun, salad with Ranch dressing, three cookies, bowl of Rice Krispies with milk.
Weather: Sunny and nice.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Letter:

I agree with you more on rhythm that would probably seem to be the case. I can write in iambics if I want to — but just now I don’t know my own mind well enough to say what I want to in them.

If I try to write smoothly, I find myself changing the meaning for the sake of the smoothness. (And don’t you do that sometimes yourself?) However, I think that an equally cumulative effect might be built up in a series of irregularities.

Instead, of beginning with an uninterrupted mood, what I want to do is to get the moods into the rhythm. This is a very hard thing to explain, but for me there are two kinds of poetry that (I think yours is the sort that has action in it).

I don’t have that feeling of action in my poems. It is too hard for me to get the feeling of action within the poems, unless I go ahead with it and let the meters find their way through. I really think though, if you read the sounds carefully, there are some places in my poems where everything stays together.

Love,
Jane

Posted in Anne, Postcard

Letter To Anne, Postcard Four

Day: Monday Night, Night Four
Food: Meat chili on hamburger buns; macaroni and cheese, green salad with ranch dressing; chocolate smore.
Weather: Five inches of snow and cold.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Elizabeth Bishop: I think what I was saying about the subject matter of poetry was something like this: We make use of primary sources, a primary source from within us where poems come from.

Posted in Anne, Postcard

Letter to Anne

I am here with my family for the first time in a number of years and, naturally, I am quite happy, but not in the way I had anticipated before leaving New York. The thing that startles me is that I am completely free to do anything I want.

I saw my mother again. At night, everyone sleeps peacefully. The uneasiness I’ve had from being in the hospital seems beside the point. It has been four years since I’ve seen them. When we sit down to dinner, I realize I’ve been living a thousand lives they’ll never know but that were only a short-term part of my life.

We spent a long, beautiful afternoon in the park, beside a pond where children played.

Love,
Jane

Posted in Anne

Letter To Anne, Postcard Three

Your letter on flower arrangement is priceless, as much as the typography of your worksheet. Last night I listened to a voice from an ancient chimney on a gusty October night. Today it snowed. The rest of the week is sunny.

I’m not used to living far north, and walking the old plow road back to the library each day. It took me three hours this morning. I left at 6:30 a.m., and arrived here at 9:30 a.m.

I always wear three pairs of slacks now, and I have two raincoats. I wear my gray travel pants, my plaids, and my blue navys.

Love,
Jane

 

 

Day: Sunday Night, Night Three
Food: Macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables, mixed salad, 3 plain chocolate-chip cookies, glass of milk, bowl of rick crispies with sugar.
Weather: Sunny and nice.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Posted in A Room With A View, Art, Postcard

Dear Anne, Postcard Two

What memoir, letter, moment in my life will reveal our many-sided secret? For my part, I shall die of the secret. I am a newspaper reporter, trying to give you fragments of my life each day as it passes in these letters.

And then I think to myself, what if it snows and I can’t write you. Fragments of a life can never be reassembled so as to summon the complexity of a whole person. And I want to know you better.

I’m not sure how to do that. Church services, even these letters, seem like a kind of performance. I don’t really mind that. I was married before, and I know how much these letters end up meaning later. You don’t want it to become all check-book balancing on Sunday evenings, and who takes the recycling into town next day.

Letters are a lens through which we have a singular identity. They reveal the malleability of our identity and our language. I, for example, can show you how French I am. That linguistic structure suggests a certain identity, something about my nature and context that allows you to see how dependent I am on you.

Love,
Jane

 

Day Before: Saturday Night, Night Two
Food: Macaroni and cheese, not sure now.
Weather: Sunny and nice.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Posted in Anne, Postcard

Letter To Anne: Kindred Hearts; Postcard One

Letters are, by definition, common artifacts. Their content captures the transitory experience of the everyday — the private expression and connection in people’s lives.
Letters help us recover from illness, and to define our place in the world again.

Dear Anne,

It’s Saturday morning, about 10:00 a.m. Last night, I transferred into the north part of town, into a shelter. Fifty women were sleeping in the room, in bunk beds. I thought I saw someone who reminded me of you.

Last night, we had beef chili for dinner, rice, cottage cheese and lemon cake. I was so hungry. This morning they served pancakes and coffee at breakfast, but I didn’t eat.

Tomorrow is Sunday, and I plan on having coffee and pancakes in the morning, before I walk to church. It’s several miles, it’s not that far.

Take care,
Jane

Day Before: Friday Night, Night One
Food: Meat chili with hamburger bun, rice, cottage cheese, lemon cake.
Weather: Sunny and nice.
Bunk Stay: Slept well.

Posted in Anne, My poetry, Poem Form, Poem of the day, Postcard