GEORGE OPPEN          281 POLK STREET SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA 94109                                        



Dear Shirley

        Very, very beautiful poetry, Shirley. You'll find no

           That you have now done this, and that there's more to
do, to be done and. to do --      I understand that.      But you'll
find no instructors,     no ancient instructors casually and
lazily inhabiting greater depths

                                           tho, yes I understand there are
greater depths and that it is important always and forever to
reach them, the difference between life and death in poetry.
Cadences,    stance,      levels of statement   ---   the way, paradoxically,

absurd to think of instructing you.        But I would value

                Greater depths dimly visible -- if only because
a poet has lit a given depth with a 'living light, Again, I
cannot instruct or dream of instucting, but I can feel the
possibility As I try to hear., or begin to imagine that
I begin to hear the note that it would be - - - I lose the
feminine voice which is yours, and am lost --. But I do
perhaps hear where the poems are suspended .-- very beautifully, very
scrupulously suspended, and yet therefore not yet on the final
ground, that the heart beats beyond the poems and that there
is fimer, plainer ground to be reached - - - - By you.      From

          a brightly illuminated ground in the poems, wherefore I
see, however dimly, that there could be something below them, and
that could be found         And that one could stand on .

                        A very very beautiful book, Shirley

                        George Oppen

((Not instruction; but it would be a delight to talk. I confess
to a childish stupidity: for the same reason that, with childish
moroseness I assumed the poems would be less than they are -- for the
same reasons I would rather talk on Polk St than in the birdless
forests of St Francis
                            Indulge us -- on the grounds that we're 60 years
old         And still childish))