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D. H.

Author(s): Harriet Monroe
Source: Poetry, Vol. 36, No. 2 (May, 1930), pp. 90-96
Published by: Poetry Foundation
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Accessed: 18/07/2014 13:58
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"I wish I might quote them in exienso.We had nowarn wrest long lifefromthe forgetful ing. at Vence. Surviving by a miracle frommonth to month and year to year. near Nice)-the death of D.and likely to drop earthwardat any moment. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . H. ever sentus letters missives to theeditor his. It remindedme also that of all our numerouscorrespondents.famousand obscure.POETRY: A Magazine of Verse COMMENT D.tuberculous. and to thegroupof eightpoemswhich opened forus the fatefulyear I914.none has more revealing. LAWRENCE death ofD.all of a sudden. H.thoughever since theworld firstheard of him everyonehas known thathe was frail.and copy now and thena sentenceor chronological a paragraph. THE [90] This content downloaded from 14.139. The news carriedme back to thebeginningof POETRY. Lawrence (David Herbert.came thenews thathe had journeyedto a more distant countryand would visit us nomore.ahead of the inevitableLife and Letters which must come in a few years. Lawrence seemedsuddenand shocking.than more interesting. H. I arrange them in order.40 on Fri.he seemedsomehowone of those mortals who conquer thebitter threatsofmortalityand fates.69. In his forty-fifth year theaccountwas closed.and thedate and placewere March 3rd. Reading over thesetwenty-one whom he "looked on as a friend. those familiarinitialsstand for.we heard thatbewas hoping to returntoNewMexico -and then.

And thewar will go on fora very long time. But-dear God!-when I see all theunderstand ingand suffering and thepure intelligence necessaryforthesimpleper ceivingof poetry. he tellsof a dinnerwithMiss Lowell andMr.touchestheuniversal world topic. and wait andwait. he sent fromtheGulf of Spezia. I thought we shouldnever come to this. Which iswhat thewar novelistsand poetshave beendoing ever since. I914.but we are. Aldington. a new supremecelestialbody . [9I] This content downloaded from 14.and everything elsewe are lettinggo..40 on Fri.. I felt my fortune was made at a stroke. It is thebusinessof theartist to followithome to theheartof the individualfighter. On SeptemberiSth. At lastwe are going togive ourselves up to it. 19I5.D. We are just preparing tocome to fastgripswith thewar.on thevery day when theCentral Powerswere declaringwar. which had assumed theheavens as itsown. thenI know it's an almosthopelessbusiness to pub lish thestuffat all. fantasticthanks forourmodest check: You putme a finebig batch in theJanuaryissue.the realityof the clear eternalspirit.andwhen I got your check I gasped. Ten months later thewar was trackinghim home. I knew itwhen I watched theZeppelin theotherevening. seeingitwas inpaymentofmere verse.69.gleaminglike a new sign in theheavens. God knowsnowwhat theendwill be. where Shelley died. Two months later.139. not to talk inarmiesand nations and numbers. The next letter. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Lawrence InMay. and adds: We had somepoetry.inmid-November. Only I feelthateven ifwe are all going tobe rusheddown toextinction onemust holdup theotherliving truth-of rightand pure reality. hewrites: This is therealwinterof thespiritinEngland.a propos of POETRY'S War Number: The war isdreadful. H. Itmust stand by.but to trackithome-home.

But Feb. Here theautumnof all lifehas set in.not a Logos. he is still longinginvain for America -"it isnot indecision.69." And you suggest. An Almighty. a Thunderbolt. I must seeAmerica. not freedom-but freedomis an illusionanyhow. It is likebeingdead-the underworld.Remindsme of thegreat cries in theOld Testa ment: "How longwill ye hardenyourheartsagainstme?" But who is Jehovahin thiscase. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." Not until thesummerof I922 does he set footin theseUnited States. while I was abroad.40 on Fri.We are hardlymore thanghosts inthehaze.139. I hope I can come toChicago to see you all. but damnable circumstance which preventsmy coming. the fall.amid all thismass ofdestructionand disintegration. I9I9. ist. I finda tensionlike a stretchedbow. I923. Here thewhole treeof lifeis dying. I thinkone can feelhope there. the flukeeps him in bed in hisDerbyshirecottage-"a voyage autourde ma chambrefinishes me. I must seeAmerica.not a Dove.however. In October he sends some impressionsof America from Taos: What do I find? God knows.crudebut vital. In September. InOctober of I9I5 he is lookingacross thesea: Probably inamonth's timeI shallbe inNew York. No.POETRY: A Magazine of Verse One must speak forlifeand growth. But always resistance. we who stand apart fromthefluxof death. "Stiff-neckedand uncircumcisedgeneration"-that inhumanresistance to thedivinity-would be perhaps superhumanandfourth-dimensional. he was in Chicago fora day-"a queer big citywith a sortof palpi tation I couldn't quite understand"-and the following [92] This content downloaded from 14. I believe it is beginning. I thinkthat therethelifecomesup fromtheroots. and thequest of health carrieshim swiftlyacross the continenttoNew Mexico.not ending. whichmight snap but probablywon't-something a bit hard to bear. I don't know.

Somethingqueer and terrifying about Chicago. The contrastbetweenhis lithenessand the solidwell-rounded [93] This content downloaded from 14.139. with its thickreddishhair and pointed beard. Nothing remindedone of his physicalweak ness." And amuch laterletterrefers again to thatday inChicago. a body alertand ready to leap likea cat. on the contraryhe seemed lithe and extra-fitfor dart and recoil-one had to sharpenone's paces to keep up with him. I founda man uncannilyactive in spite of slightfigureand frailhealth. One feltan urge for lifeinhis company.D.with thatwild forestof a city behind. the legs that seemed to clear thegroundevenwhen theyrested. and the iceon theshoresof the lake. "that lakewith a stripeof snow likea skunk'snose. Lawrence March he and hiswife and theirfriend Miss Brett spenta day withme in the"queer big city" and had dinnerwith a wild and American still. He lookedlikehis pictures-the small face. prehensilehands. H. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . triangular the narrow-chestedthin-flankedbody. ThatMarch day inChicago in I924was my onlychance to verifyby talk and the touchof eyes and hands the impressions gained througha desultorycorrespondence of ten years. one of the strange"centres" of theearth. "I shall never forgetthat afternoon.with a rovingobservanteye. there was nothingsedativeor soothing about this faun-likecreaturewho wore no conventional veils over a spirit that darted thisway and that to its discoveries."he wrote afterwardsfromTaos.more so thanNew York.which I shall never forget.69.40 on Fri. and a mind as tautas a steel spring.

and the rootof poetry. I am re minded of the string of scathing adjectives hurled against its author by Senator Reed Smoot of Utah in the course of his noble effortto protectour morals by [94] This content downloaded from 14." it said." Afterwardsto Mexico forthesecond time. of Sons and Lovers.but something reallydeeper. It went on: Meanwhile I'm busy here printingmy new novel inFlorence-Iooo copies.and that I sincerelybelieve in restoringthe other. inMarch I928. "and see you again inChicago.Lady Chatterley's Lover. From Florence. he wrote the last letterI shall ever receive from him.which will save us fromhorrors. It is a nice and tenderphallicnovel not a sex novel in theordinarysense of theword.intoour lives:because it is thesourceof all real beauty. and all real gentleness. And thoseare the two things. and the Del Monte Ranch seventeenmiles beyond it.69." But the letterwas chieflyabout the book which has stirredup somuch controversyof late. "I hopewe shall go back toNew Mexico some time thisyear.livedor sung. But anyhow you know it isquite sincere. paid forby thems. And inmy novel I work forthemdirectly. I don't know how much you sympathizewithmy work-perhaps notmuch.and thenback to various re treatsnear theMediterranean. which. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . "a little ranchofmy wife's. And I think with POETRYyou've worked for those two things. I feel it's time I connectedup again with theWest.40 on Fri.ofwhich 500 forAmerica.POETRY: A Magazine of Verse stabilityof his guardianwifewas a lesson in themystery of affinities. tendernessand beauty. thephallic consciousness.and direct fromthephallic consciousness.139. They went on to Taos. is not the cerebral sex-consciousness. Rereading this letterafter these two years. you understand.

I have left myselflittlespace fordiscussionofLawrence's rank as a poet.smotheredby hypocrisy. H. . who was visibly losing thosepowerswhich come fromthedepthsof emotionalvirility.coming so soon aftermy February reviewof his psychologistshad recently discovered and artistshad always known. The letter is proof thatLawrence also. The sexual emotions. as I said then. was protectingourmorals.40 on Fri. He was. Lawrence censorship. . as he thought.139.thiswould be repetition. in a re strictedsense. froma more devastatingdisintegrationthan anything Senator Smoot anathematized. Both. He knew justwhat was wrong. divertedby leers. H.was worshipful. As Henry Seidel Canby said in the Saturday ReviewofMarch 25th: JohnBunyan and D.infectedby theethics ofVictorianism. to pronounceupon the finalvalue of thatpropaganda. and. in spiteofSenator Smoot. in deed. Warp them intomechanical responses. AllLawrence'sbookswerewrittento im prove civilizedman. in hisway.. neither listeningto a word.and you turncivilizationmechanical and prepare foritsdeath. Thus his books became as much propaganda as Pilgrim's Progress. therewas no pornographyin it.D..his attack on sex taboos thatof a crusader.. indeed.. His attitude. the disintegration which comes froman invertedsex-consciousnessfeedingupon pornographicpoisons. [95] This content downloaded from 14. Lawrence would have respectedeach other and arguedmagnificently. Lawrence's preoccupation with sexwas honestand open.were inseparablyrelated to creativeactivity.werePuritans..and you dull theman orwoman.69. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .made dull and apathetic by mechanical living. a poet of uncertain inspiration.hissing lewdwhispers. Dull them. It was our sex thatwas decaying. And perhaps it is too early.and in thisagain he resembledall the greatPuritans.

139. And that. 18 Jul 2014 13:58:04 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Mr.has put the thoughtof a lifetime. It is dis cursive.POETRY: A Magazine of Verse and a carelessand casual technician. has shown how far this method is impracticableinmodern theoutset.or descriptive. by Robert Bridges. Into thisone Bridges. Oxford UniversityPress. H. forany poet. REVIEWS THE TESTAMENT OF ROBERT BRIDGES The Testamentof Beauty. whose previouswork has been in shorterlyricand dra matic forms. M. The Poet Laureate's longpoem. Read.too beautiful to perish. is a sufficient claim to a footingin someParnassian fieldwith other immortals.publishedon his eighty fifthbirthday. method. its reservesof profoundreflection. using a suggestionfromEliot. It discards. as against the intuitive. For his mode of handlinghismaterial he has gone-as Herbert Read has pointedout in themost discriminating reviewI have seen-not toDante but to Lucretius. immediate in its unreflectiveappeal.69. Poems of thistypeare rare today.must be setone's respectforthe poem's dignity. by [96] This content downloaded from 14. the intenseand visual beauty.But hewrote a few poems too poignant to be forgotten.and itspatent sincerityinworkingout a personalphilosophy. or once became a public event. Against an adverse prejudice aroused by unreservedpraise both inEngland andAmerica.40 on Fri.

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