Sunday, August 23, 2009

1933: Feb 24: HMK to RH-- Farrar Lunch

Thursday, February 24, 1933

Dear R.H.;

Last night I lived with ghosts for I went to see "Ah Wilderness." If you have not seen it, you will see none other than myself almost to the last crossing of the "t's", the Swinburne poems, the Rubiyat, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the girl, the temptation, the defiance, the tempter, the inability to go through with it, all, all the lovely tragic lost dreams, dreamed so bravely as to make one weep at the memory of them. It is Niles when I was 17 and I saw the picture through a mist. It was all there save that my father and mother had long been gone and there was no one to tell me the things about life that I should have known for those were still the days when such tings were looked upon as too vulgar and obscene ever to be talked about honestly and youth was left to stumble on in darkness sometimes never to find the truth.

The boy in the picture is perfect to poignancy, poor brave little lad with his lovely dreams, his sweet ambitions but he is not alone for the picture seems almost flawlessly cast. If you have not seen it, do not, I beg of you, miss it for it is one of the loveliest things that the cinema has ever given us and how they ever did it, is a mystery even if they did broaden it in parts-- it cannot harm the heart of it.

Freckles send her love and RH says he owes you a letter and one day when he is reckless enough he will write you. If you knew how we blessed you on nights at 17 below for those bed socks, tho we doubted if we should ever be soft enough to wear them.

Did I tell you we had tea with Geraldine Farrar last week and that she is one of the loveliest ladies we have ever known and is growing old with a grace so rare as to be almost incredible. She lives not far away, quite simply and surrounded with souvenirs of a career as great as any woman ever had, yet with not the slightest indication of regret that it is passed. She took us to some friends in Stamford, southern folk with a lovely house and a sunken music room with a pipe organ and a concert grand. The buffet was bountiful and as delicious as old black servants long in the family could make it and afterward Farrar gathered us all about her at the piano and led us in songs of a simpler and far happier time and at the end a hymn. I cannot recall a Sunday night so sweet since the time of "Ah Wilderness" itself.

Nothing new in the line of radio except that the other stations listening in made almost too good a report on my broadcast and I'm duly grateful.

The radio just said that we might expect more snow which sets RH and CV into cursing but I'm silent being secretly glad.

Write me all the news and thanks again and do see the picture of the small, brave, dreaming youthful Knight who is gone.


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