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Letter from Thomas MacGreevy to George Yeats. 11 April 1926.

[p.1 recto]

at 15 Cheyne Gardens,

Dearest George,

Your letter was so good to get that I wanted to answer it at once, but I had no typewriter, Miss Cummins the world famous medium having departed to Ireland with hers. I am hoping to have one of my own shortly. A ?? feckless old maid who sings Schubert and Brahms enchantingly though amateurishly lent me this one. She paid 15 guineas for it over a year ago though she hasn't a fraction, and it spends most of its time on loan to one or other of her friends. I was very glad you liked Red Hugh.MacGreevy's poem, 'Aodh Ruadh O Domhnaill ' was written in February 1926.note It was one I sent to The Dial with a letter from Eliot, but they preferred the Nocturne of the Self Evident Presence. MacGreevy sent Marianne Moore poems in early March. On 26 March she replied noting 'We particularly admire the "Nocturne of the Self-Evident Presence" and as we said to Mr Eliot, are most tempted to disregard the fact that we must not at present, accept additional verse.' In 1928 she published MacGreevy’s 'Saint Senan's Well.'note which rather surprised me tho' I have improved it I think. I rather like it Red Hugh myself. I was glad W.B.liked it too.See Yeats's letter of 26 March 1926.note […]

I am sorry about oddity. I think I used it because it was a gayer word than, say, mystery. I suppose I might as well ask who W.B's parents were at Lucerne as ask what the other thing you "hate" me for is? See Yeats's letter of 26 March 1926.note

Not much doing recently. I went to Paris for Easter.MacGreevy spent the Easter break (1-5 April) in Paris with William McCausland Stewart.note Mostly worked but went to see our Seurat at the Louvre — quite beyond [p.1 verso]expectations like all good things. Not very large, all kinds of dry flaky yellows. I went with a lively French lad, whose last word in appreciation was formidable. Very few things were that, a few were epatant, a few beau, the rest he sailed past. It was amusing, but very interesting to go round with him. The Seurat was Ooh, formidable. I read about the Friends of the National CollectionsFriends of the National Collections in Ireland was founded in 1924 by Sarah Purser to raise funds to return the Hugh Lane collection from London.note in Dublin and their acquisitions. O God! What is to be done with the Sarah Pursers and the rest? Let 'em rot I suppose. But it does take 'em a time. And what is Manning Robertson? A professional architect who cannot take up where W.B. left off at the Stockholm, Westminster, stage and make synthesis out of them all modern things is no use for king or country! I saw the Val-de-graceFrançois Mansart's baroque-style church, begun in 1645, became a military hospital after the Revolution and remains a Paris landmark.note for the first time this day week. I wonder did you see it when you were in Paris. Such a lovely dome. It made all the deficiences of the PantheonThe neo-classical church of Sainte Geneviève, also called the Panthéon, was begun by Jacques-Germain Soufflot in 1575. The building was secularized during the Revolution, reconsecrated and resecularized several times in the 19th Century, before finally becoming a civic building in the 20th.note (which I looked out on from my bed) very clear. I am beginning to believe that there will be no good architecture until there is a whole class of thoroughly educated and interested people in Ireland — or anywhere else for that matter — again. One does not want to work for power, and yet until one is in power and intolerant (out of enlightenment) there won't be anything. If the Abbey would spend its whole subsidyIn 1925 the Abbey Theatre and the Peacock Theatre, the two organizations comprising the National Theatre, were given a subsidy from the new Free State government making it the first subsidized theater in the English-speaking world.note on getting over Commisarjevsky for its six or eight new productions in the year even that would be something. But Augusta, like Sarah, we have always with us and his morals are — formidable. I wish you could have seen his production of Andreyev's "Katerina"MacGreevy attended Lenoid Andreyev's play in early April.note He made better actors of his company of unknown young men and women than you could find elsewhere in the length and breadth of London. And he gets so little to do here!In 1925 Komisarjevsky began his Barnes Theater company which included John Gielgud, Charles Laughton, Jean Forbes-Robertson, Jeanne de Casalis, and Martita Hunt. He would continue to be an influential presense in English theater through the next decade.note That is the worst of[p.2 recto] it. It is not a great play, but it is interesting, and in parts was stunning.

My love to Anne and Michael. What news of them? I noted all you said about relations. My married sister at home had another girl last Monday.On 5 April Margaret Phelan, the second child of Robert J Phelan and Norah Phelan neé MacGreevy was born in Tarbert.note Clear to me that if I don't want to be surrounded with Superfluias like Tommy Bodkin I must never, never, never go in for Holy Matrimony. God intended me to be the last and greatest of my tribe! I have a poem about Claudel — or did I tell you — which I will show you. I don't like to send it. W. B. would hate it.

Good wishes always,


Tom McGreevy.

Have seen a good deal of Jack Yeats. I believe he comes here tonight too. The show is very good, and sales the first day were encouraging.