in the stacks
Mertens's account of the Poetry magazine archives (August/01)
brought back rich memories. During my first year in the Graduate
Library School I had a part-time job in Special Collections, then
under the benign direction of Bob Rosenthal, to catalog the manuscripts
in that archive.
for the Pound papers, organized in a long series of boxes along
one wall of the closed stacks, all the documents that had been
deposited up to that time (1955) were in my charge to sort, read,
date, and put in order. I still recall the thrill of picking up
the slim Eliot file and finding the manuscript of "Prufrock"!
Some themes came up again and again in the letters-appreciative
comments from authors on the way their poems looked on the printed
page (which has made me forever skeptical of the computer printout
as a valid substitute for a book), pleas to publish their latest
submissions soon so they could pay their bills, debates over grammar
and capitalization (e.g. an exchange on that point between Harriet
Monroe and e. e. cummings), and so many outpourings about their
private and professional lives. I will be first in line to buy
a copy of Dear Editor and hope that Messrs. Parisi and
Young are at work on a second volume.
O. Falconer, AM'57
Iowa City, Iowa