To the Editors:
DEDICATED TO MAXWELL GEISMAR
One morning, when the sun shone bright And all the earth was fair,
I met a little city child, Whose ravings rent the air.
“I lucidly can penetrate “The Which,” I heard him say,—
“The How is, wonderfully, come To clear the limpid way.
“The sentence, rarely, rose and fell From ceiling to the floor;
Her words were spotlessly arranged, She gave her, strangely, more.”
“What troubles you, my little man?” I dared to ask him then,—
He fixed me with a subtle stare, And said, “Most clearly, when
“You see I’m occupied, it’s rude To question of my aims—
I’m going to the adverb school Of Mr. Henry James!”
New York City
January 9, 1964