Sunday, April 22, 2012

We Can Do Some Good With Our Lives

Dear Mary,

The first poems of yours I read were in Bly's News of the Universe.  Then, in 1983, I was
in NYC for a summer seminar.  There were bookstores everywhere!  In a big store in an old
building, I found American Primitive.  I didn't have much money, so I pulled the books I
wanted out a little way from the others as I went along, then went back to choose the one
I would buy: yours.  I pulled it off the shelf and happened to look up at the same time; there
was a guy sitting atop a tall stepladder in the middle of the room, and he had a little gun
holstered on his belt.  The store detective.  He looked at me and nodded.  I've been reading,
and teaching, your poems ever since.  I invited you to read at Austin Peay State Univ. in
Tennessee in the late 80s I think it was.  You met with students and did a wonderful reading.
Both I and my students have always been given heart by your poems.  They speak to us
with such courage and sanity; they give us the confidence to know that we can do some
good with our lives.

I'm retired now.  I write a little and read a lot.  I'll pray for you each day to be well.

David Till

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