To Dorothy Elsmith

T. S.Eliot
TS Houghton
84 Prescott Street,
14 May 1947
DearElsmith, Dorothy Olcottthanked for hospitality;b5 Dorothy,

(First I think I should explain that I type my letters, just as I compose verse directly on the machine, simply because I have a kind of writers’ cramp: if I have to write a letter in longhand, I have to write it first on the machine and then copy it out laboriously, because I can no longer think with a pen).

This is a most difficult letter of thanks to write, just because I am so particularly thankful for your kindness and appreciative of your tact. It was a very necessary weekend, and I do not know of any other possible conditions for it: and I have some perception of what it must have imposed on you, as well as on the other protagonists. I can only say that you played your part perfectly, and that I shall be always your humble debtor.

I have had no opportunity to write before this moment; and tomorrow I have to go to New York to see various people about various business, thencePrinceton UniversityJohnson lectures revamped for;b8 to Princeton to give two lectures, thencePound, Ezravisited by TSE in Washington;d4 to Washington to see a poor demented friend to whom I owe gratitude and loyalty,1 andYale Universitypoetry reading at;b3 thence to a crowded programme at Yale beforeEliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother)memorial service for;l6 returning to Cambridge on the 27th for the Memorial Service for my brother. Out of this nightmare (a more complex one than I have ever experienced) I claim this moment of sanity to express my gratitude and affection (which no repudiation on your part can abate) and my thankfulness that Emily should have such a friend as yourself.2

Yours very sincerely,
T. S. Eliot

1.Ezra Pound, who was incarcerated at St Elizabeth’s Hospital, Washington, DC.

2.InElsmith, Dorothy Olcotton TSE as nurse;b6n her unpublished memoir, ‘Glimpses of the great’, Elsmith recalled that TSE’s visit to her house at Woods Hole, ‘happened to be [at] a time when his hostess was confined to her bedroom by a pair of erratic knees. Each afternoon her guest came up for tea and an hour of poetry. “What would you like today?” “Ash Wednesday, or the Choruses from the Rock, or The Dry Salvages.” On the last page [of her copy of The Dry Salvages] he wrote:

“Here ends the Dry Salvages, read to D. E. then crippled,

in order to divert her by the author on the 10 May 1947 T.S.E.”

‘The patient wasn’t quite “crippled” but it was almost worth being so to hear his resonant voice in its rhythmic intonations read my favorites. What a diversion. IpoetryTSE on his own;b1n recall his comment: “My poems come to me often first as sound rather than meaning. Understanding what the author is saying is not a necessary part. If they think about it afterwards, that’s the main thing”’ (Young Library, Smith College).

Eliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother), hears TSE's Dryden broadcast, as potential confidant, sibling most attuned to TSE's needs, witness to the Eliots in 1926, surprises TSE in Boston, his aura of futility, disputes New Yorker profile of TSE, at Eliot family Thanksgiving, attends second Norton lecture, his business in Chicago, hosts TSE in New York, TSE reads his second detective story, his immaturity, accuses TSE of wrath, writes TSE long critical letter, the favourite of TSE's parents, sends New York Murder clippings, writes again about religion, insensitive to European affairs, Peabody Museum employ as research associate, gives TSE pyjamas for Christmas, sends TSE luggage for Christmas, hosts Murder's Boston cast, sends present to Morley children, cables TSE on 50th birthday, given draft of Family Reunion, gives TSE portfolio, champions Kauffer's photograph of TSE, explains operation on ears, sends list of securities, takes pleasure in shouldering Margaret, undergoes serious operation, recovering at home, as curator of Eliotana, as curator of Eliotana, war imperils final reunion with, and TSE's rumoured Vatican audience, corresponds with TSE monthly, offers Tom Faber wartime refuge, nervous about TSE during Blitz, as described by Frank Morley, recalls The Dry Salvages, has appendix out, cautioned as to health, frail, condition worries TSE, as correspondent, friend to J. J. Sweeney, tries TSE's patience, reports on Ada, describes Ada's funeral, beleaguered by Margaret, sent Picture Post F&F photos, likened to Grandfather Stearns, goitre operated on, his archaeological endeavours, back in hospital, imagined in exclusively female company, ill again, as brother, has pneumonia, terminal leukaemia, prospect of his death versus Ada's, anxieties induced by deafness, writes to TSE despite illness, death, memorial service for, on EH's presumption, Michael Roberts's symptoms reminiscent of, his Chicago acquaintance, friends with Robert Lowell's father, invoked against EH, on TSE's love for EH, buried in Garrett family lot, The Rumble Murders,

3.HenryEliot, Henry Ware, Jr. (TSE's brother) Ware Eliot (1879–1947), TSE’s older brother: see Biographical Register.

Elsmith, Dorothy Olcott, issues invitation to Woods Hole, TSE and EH to stay with, now living in Boston, invites TSE again to Woods Hole, thanked for hospitality, on TSE as nurse, attends Kind Lady, reports on Kind Lady, in New Zealand, taken to dinner at Garrick, EH in Grand Manan with, EH visits during Christmas holidays, present when EH learns of TSE's death,
see also Elsmiths, the

4.TSEElsmiths, theseminal Woods Hole stay with;a1Elsmith, Dorothy OlcottElsmiths, the andAmericaWoods Hole, Falmouth, Massachusetts;i2TSE and EH's holiday in recalled;a2St. LouisAmericaBostonAmericaCaliforniaAmericaCambridge, MassachusettsAmericaHollywoodAmericaNew EnglandAmericaNew YorkAmerica EHElsmith, Dorothy Olcott were going to visit a friend of EH’s named Dorothy Olcott Elsmith (a graduate of Smith College), who lived with her family in a white clapboard house by the seaside at Woods Hole, Falmouth, Mass.: see Biographical Register.

poetry, the danger of illustrating, versus the law, as career path, as social construct, as against didacticism, as redefined by Sweeney Agonistes, TSE on his oeurvre, TSE's own reasons for writing, TSE doubts his own, TSE's unrecorded epigram on, TSE on his own, and the importance of models, relieves TSE's longing for EH, nonsense poetry, versus drama, and TSE's new drawing-desk, and theatre-going audiences, and the dissimulation of feeling, TSE on writing after long intermission, jealousy among poets, and personal experience, TSE's defended from EH's charge of 'futility', and emotion, and marriage to VHE, and varieties of audience,
Pound, Ezra, within Hulme's circle, at The Egoist, indebted to Harriet Weaver, epistolary style, on President Lowell, TSE recites for Boston audience, distinguished from Joyce and Lawrence, TSE's reasons for disliking, attacks After Strange Gods, as correspondent, needs pacification, and TSE's possible visit to Rapallo, recommended to NEW editorial committee, anecdotalised by Jane Heap, of TSE and David Jones's generation, his strange gift to Joyce recalled, delicacies of his ego, Morley halves burden of, lacks religion, his letters from Italy censored, one of TSE's 'group', indicted for treason, TSE on his indictment, his legal situation, correspondence between TSE and Bernard Shaw concerning, visited by TSE in Washington, defended by TSE in Poetry, Osbert Sitwell on, his treatment in hospital protested, his insanity, TSE's BBC broadcast on, The Pisan Cantos, TSE writes introduction for, TSE chairs evening devoted to, further efforts on behalf of, Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, The Literary Essays of Ezra Pound, 'The Seafarer',
see also Pounds, the

3.Ezra PoundPound, Ezra (1885–1972), American poet and critic: see Biographical Register.

Princeton University, according to TSE's fantasy, TSE engaged to lecture at, and Ronald Bottrall, TSE on his trip to, its architecture, compared to Harvard and Yale, Alumni Weekly print TSE's More tribute, possible wartime lectures at, and Allen Tate, among American colleges, extends wartime invitation to TSE, invites TSE to conference, Johnson lectures revamped for, confers honorary degree on TSE, and TSE's Institute for Advanced Study position, EH's information on, and Herbert Read, and EH's bequest,
Yale University, and 'English Poets as Letter Writers', more like Oxford than Harvard, compared to Princeton, negotiates amateur production of Murder, exhibits first editions of TSE, superior cadre of university, and George P. Baker's theatre-group, Herbert Read to lecture at, poetry reading at, confers degree on TSE, potential place of deposit for correspondence,