In my serpentine researches
I came on a book review in Poetry
which began, with sublime assurance,
a comprehensive air of majesty,
“The art of poetry
is amply distinguished from the manufacture of verse
by the animating presence in the poetry
of a fresh idiom; language
so twisted & posed in a form
that it not only expresses the matter in hand
but adds to the stock of available reality.”
I was never altogether the same man after that.
I found this new lawgiver all unknown
except in the back numbers of a Cambridge quarterly
Hound & Horn, just defunct.
I haunted on Sixth Avenue until
at 15¢ apiece or 25
I bad all 28 numbers
& had fired my followers at Philolexian & Boar’s Head
with the merits of this prophet.
My girls suffered during this month or so,
so did my seminars & lectures &
my poetry even. To be a critic, ah,
how deeper & more scientific.
I wrote & printed an essay on Yeats’s plays
redeploying all of Blackmurs key terms
& even his sentence-structure wherever I could.
When he answered by hand from Boston my nervous invitation
to come & be honored at our annual Poetry Reading.
it must have been ten minutes before I could open the envelope
. I got him to review Tate’s book of essays
& Mark to review The Double Agent. Olympus!
I have traveled in some high company since
but never so dizzily.
I have had some rare girls since but never one so philosophical
as that same spring (my last spring there) Jean Bennett.