Evelyn Blackett
E. du Perron

Sunderland, 5 oktober 1929

14, Ashby Street,

Sunderland, -

Co. Durham, -


Samedi -

5 Octobre - 1929

2h du matin

Dear Mr. du Perron, -

The unexpected has happened, & Belgium will not see me, next week. A colleague has taken ill & has asked me to give a series of lectures for him next Monday & Tuesday as he will be obliged to keep to his room. I have given two this week myself & was looking forward to a few peaceful days in Belgium before settling down in Oxford next Thursday. The Fates say no - so I must wait till Term ends - & then, Belgium. I am indeed disappointed as I should have been happy to know you personally, - but it will be for later - unless you die - or I die - or some such thing. - However, I accept now more or less philosophically what Fate deals out to me, provided I feel I've done my best. - If you are still in Belgium round about December 12th or so, I can hop over then. Term will end about the 7th or 8th - then a few days in London - & then I can set sail for Antwerp. - I am indeed sorry it is not for Sunday. -

- If by any chance you find yourself in England, do try to come up to Oxford. I should be so pleased to show you round - & I think you would like it. I'll send some photos of it next week-end. - I shall be lunching with the Principal of my old college at Durham next Tuesday, so I'll get some cards of the place while I'm up, as my ‘snaps’ have run short. -

- But Oxford. As I was saying, if you find yourself by hazard there, let me know & I'll show you its glories. Or if you are in London round about December 9th or so, we could say ‘hello’ there. -

A week ago, I sent the translated ‘historiettes’ to ‘Everyman’ - one of the best known literary weekly journals we have. It has a very wide circulation - & as they haven't returned them, I gather they will be publishing them soon. In that case, I shall send the copy of the journal in which they appear at once. -

You are lucky to be able to live a retired life. It should be good for literary purposes. I personally, am always lamenting the fact that life goes by too quickly & that there is never time to do everything one wants to do. - The doctorate work takes time, & then social demands are exigeant - & the poor writing sometimes gets left out in the cold. By the time I've written some articles, there is very little left for the novel I began some time ago. I'm calling it ‘Here, sirs, find music’, - in opposition to the Huxley - Coward - Nichols - Frankau cynicism. These are among the foremost of our younger writers - & are, to my mind, very definitely decadent. -

- I'll tell you more about ‘Here, sirs, find music, later, - for the hour is late, & I'm very very tired. -

Goodnight. I am indeed sorry I shall not be able to shake hands with you next week.

Yours very sincerely, -

E. Blackett -

P.S. My work in life seems to be not particularly that of poet - but occasionally I write such things as follows: -

The Consolation
There are at least one hundred metres
And at least one hundred rhymes
That rise to my lips
And sing in my brain
And themes of God & Hell & you.
Of sea & sky & plains & towns
Of bells & clocks & traffic & trains
Pour in
And sigh
And are still.
My song will not be sung.
For all the one hundred metres
And all the one hundred rhymes
This consoles:
Perhaps when the silence comes
And the wet green of grass & the scent of blossom
Remind me of earth
My song will be loosed, -
And rising up with a magnificent cry,
Will urge its way to the home of the winds
And unite itself to the cry of the sea
And pour out its voice through the throats of the birds
And quiver on the lips of some other poet.
One Sunday night
(Dusk was gathering in)
We went to the garage of the inn where we had
left our bikes.
The beach & the sea & all the laughter
Had tired us out.
There was some bother about the keys.
Then as we waited & cursed the chance
Four men came into the yard
Carrying a stretcher
And on it lay there enveloped
In an old grey ambulance blanket
Something long & heavy & exceptionally still.
They took the lump away
To a funny back-shed that smelt rather foul
And then two returned
To look for pieces of string
And lemonade boxes.
A whispering nervous curious crowd
Drifted in.
Then the stretcher came out
A podgy little fellow in a sweater & bags
Told us the tale,
How the thing on the stretcher
Had been alive & kicking
Four hours ago
But had tried to rescue
Another fellow
From drowning.
He was very young.
Six feet two.
And had come just for the afternoon.
A clock chimed out
The quarter.
Dicky's bike gave a roar
And his fiance, Gwen, with a horrified stare
Told him her mind. -
The wind was fresh
And the sun dull gold
And the road and the fields all tranquil
And the bikes flew along with the rush of the wind -
And it seemed right
After all.
There are three things I should like
For you,
My love.
One must be money,
The other, the whole world,
And, thirdly, position.
As for me,
I should like
The sound of your voice when you tell me I've been working too hard.
The feel of your hand on my brow when I've got a head-ache,
And thirdly,
The sweet pressure of your lips
When you know
You love me.

Origineel: Den Haag, Letterkundig Museum

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