Letter from George Yeats to Thomas MacGreevy. 19 May 1927.[p.1 recto]
82 MERRION SQUARE.
May 19 1927
My dear Tom
Lennox brought in the book on Wed. — having been fearfully busy ever since he got back to Dublin — & I am delighted to have it. Thank you.
There's very little news.Dolly is working hard at C.& C. & rather fed up I think with all the difficulties made by the Abbey & the postponement from May 8 to May 29! Still [p.1 verso]she is bearing up bravely. Lennox is playing Lewis Dodd in "The Constant Nymph" – – – He & Shelah have to sing an absurd duet all about Pip — neither of them can sing – – – – It begins on Monday next & will certainly be entertaining if nothing else. Shelah & Arthur Shields are doing it – A.S. producing – for one or two weeks........ Did you see it in London. I did & thought it too idiotic for words & Noel Coward as L.Dodd too beastly for anything. Its a low play.
Dorothy is in London. She brought "Omar" over! He is going to be put in the Norland House & his grandmother [p.1 recto]be able to play with him all day!
How goes the Dentist's chair?
Though you did not get the post I think you may
??fairly be content. There
were 17 candidates. All were eliminated gradually till only you and Bodkin
remained. Then after considerable discussion somebody proposed Bodkin -- he
was the older man, better known to those present, and so on. Then somebody
agreed but added that you were certainly a man to watch. Also Martin and I
spoke strongly of your qualities but we did not ask for a division as the
majority were obviously for Bodkin as they knew him personally etc ??I had
pointed out that you would consider the post if you were appointed a "whole
time job" but the chairman decided that we must not consider this point as
the Board decided some months ago that it was "a half-time job." (We had
asked the government to increase the BodkinDirector's salary that we might make it
a whole time job and the Government had refused).
Now this is the result. Bodkin has the post but the Board recognise you as an Irish expert, a man to be thought of should any vacancy arise. Bodkin's appointment is to this extent provisional. He has been liberated from certain duties in his government post, a substitute found, as an experiment which will probably work. It may not. Or there may be a vacancy in the Museum. We should avoid anything which might look like antagonism between you and Bodkin for as things stand we can I think count on his support as well as that of the other members of the Board. He is important as he can I think secure Government support -- he was practically the Government candidate being the only Irish expert they had heard of.
I asked Lennox to tell you that you would not be appointed but to send in your application that you might be recognised as an Irish expert. You have that recognition more fully and heartily given than I had hoped for. The instinct of a Board is always to make an appointment nem.con. if possible but that does not mean no preliminary discussion and difference.
I got in some praise of your poetry by the by.
YoursY.B. Yeats [p.2 verso] Formal virile masculine Rimbaud
Who saw heretically
And was erotic aristocratically
Now sees its offspring
Aggressive with authority
The pose of the majority
I am not sterile
I have had six enfants
I was never as these publicans
God forms leave me quiescent
Indifferent Rimbaud knows
With adolescent sons men
May colour stark truth
And goes on dream[ing]