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Letter from George Yeats to Thomas MacGreevy. 11 February 1929.

[p.1 recto]

Via Americhe 12/8
Feb. 11 1929

My Dear Tom

My long silence about your letter and the translation wasnt ingratitude, it was flu-bronchitis-old right lung! I think I'd only been back from Rome three days when I got flu, then had ten days solid in bed and crawled thereafter around feeling beastly. Am now restored. Peyron's translation is far better than Leprevost's but even so I dont know that I really like it as much as I like the original! I suppose no translation can get the tightness, unless it is a 'version'. Anyway its the best french trans. of anything of Willy that I've yet seen. And thank you for sending it.

Lennox arrives on Thursday, takes Paris on his way home to have a look at you — dont know how long he stays here, but perhaps he has already written. He cabled that he was sailing on Feb.3 as he didnt know until the 1st if he was going to Michigan or not. William is exceedingly well, has been writing verse hard, and says he is full of themes — yesterday came dashing along from his cot to announce that he was going to write twelve songs and I had got to purchase "a musical instrument" at once and set them to music.....All said songs being of a most frivolous nature! I have been painting all the old green study furniture chinese red — rather in fragments because I couldnt do much at a go — and it looks rather good I think — so far the bookcases and desk are completed, the rest in a state of chassis and wetness. I think it stirred William up![p.1 verso] He says he has shed off one old personality with the Ninetyish greens! Antheil is here. I havent seen him yet. Willy met him one night dining at the Rapallo, but A. was tired after journey and apparently not saying much. The Aldingtons are also here, or rather Richard and Brigid Patmore. They are, I gather, going to live in Paris! Richard hasnt changed except that he looks very neat and respectable, has the same giggle and the same slightly vague perception about everything.. Burn this when read! And various others, friends of sistersinlaw and so on, are at Portofino and roundabout, and fortunately I havent had to see much of 'em yet for I have been able to plead east wind and doctors orders not to go out in same.

Somehow or other I feel the B. Inst. professorial trouble has settled down, though that may be mere dream. No one over the age of thirty ought to settle down to be the "poor poet", and I am quite certain that you are the least fitted in the world to be that. If you're going to have the perpetual preoccupation of wondering how to eat and sleep, are you going to have leisure enough of mind to write?

By the way, if you would like typed copy of E.P's Cantos I can let you have one for I have it. They are quite impossible to buy.

Dont fuss about Caterina's tip. Its done I knew you were probably in too much hurry going off so early.

I feel I was very vague the whole time you were here, but I had the devil of a pain in my back the whole time which was apparently a form of pleurisy or so the doc said when I had flu and it still continued it is now coped with and departed.

Nurse had a grand time in Rome Florence Reade, the children's nurse, went on to train as a nurse in Dublinnote - O'Hagan was very kind, took her all round the Irish College (by special appointment) and she had great high jinks with the Pope - got him for the first audience after "Twelve days" (when he wasnt having any) and got words and rings kissed and all sorts of things. She was immensely grateful to you.


George —