Letter to Clark Ashton Smith

From Edwin Markham

West New Brighton, N.Y.
September 20, 1925

My dear Clark Ashton Smith:

A few days ago I sent you a copy of The Literary Review of New York City, wherein I had the happiness to quote two or three of your remarkable lines of poetry. I fancy that my article will interest you as it touches upon the poetic realm to which you have dedicated your intellectual powers. I have already heard good reports of this summary of the great-line symposium.

If I am not mistaken, you had the kindness to send me a copy of your book of poems a long time ago. I fear that I did not acknowledge it. If I failed in this matter, I wish you to know that the failure was not due to any lack of interest in your remarkable contribution to modern verse. No, it was due to the fact that much of my time has been spent in eagle-flights over the continent, lighting at times in the great cities to read from my own verse and to proclaim the gospel of poetry.

I now wish to express my keen admiration of some of your lines and passages, for there are moments when you rise to the high realms of the creative imagination. In these moments you stir our hearts with beauty and wonder.

I trust that you will have the strength and courage to go on with your noble devotion to the Muse. I can assure you that the circle of those who admire your distinguisht [sic] work will continue to widen, for that circle will inclde all discriminating and intelligent readers who happen to come into contact with your poetry.

Ever cordinally yours,

Quoted in full in "Clark Ashton Smith Publishes New Book. Late Poems and Translations Continued in New York of Poet" (review of SANDALWOOD), THE AUBURN JOURNAL, November 5, 1925. The letter is referring to an article, "The Judgement of Mr. Markham. A Summary of the Sumposium on 'The Most Beautiful Single Line of Poetry in the English Language," which appeared in THE LITERARY REVIEW of THE NEW YORK EVENING POST, September 12, 1925. Markham later included two excerpts from "Nero" in his anthology THE BOOK OF POETRY, which saw several editions.

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