Letter of Austin Clarke to Noel Kavanagh (Yeats Association), in 1966

Source: Papers of Sybil Le Brocquy; slipped into her copy of Mnemosyne Lay in the Dust (Dolmen 1966) - the copy being signed by the author. Mrs. Le Brocquy was a founding member and of the Yeats Association. Clarke did, in the event, read poetry at the unveiling of the Yeats Memorial, by Henry Moore, in St. Stephen's Green, Dublin.

  Bridge House,
Dublin 14
14th September '66

Noel Kavanagh, Esq.,
Hon. Secretary,
The Yeats Association.

Dear Mr. Kavanagh

Thank you for your letter. Ever since the Civil War and the executions, hangings, atrocities, then and later, I have avoided all contact with politicians. I would not wish, therefore, to be connected, directly or indirectly, with any Association in which they take part. I am sorry that your Society has not been kept to writers and sympathisers.

  Yours sincerely,
  [signed] A Clarke

Note: The letter typed is on inexpensive unheaded small letter-paper, folded for the envelope to post-card size using black ribbon and a serif font. 6-8 words appear on each line and the right-hand margin is not observed. There is an accidental space between the first two letters and the remainder of ‘Kavanagh’ in the salutation. This has been emended with a biro crescent under. The signature is written in the same fine-tip biro (with a slightly broken line and some thicker ink-dots). There is no stop after the first-name initial, and the ‘e’ of Clarke falls distinctly below the line. The letter is marked ‘R’ in another hand in the right-hand bottom corner - presumably Kavanagh's token that he has replied. [See original]
This copy and description is made by Bruce Stewart, having received the letter in papers of his mother Melanie Stewart [née Le Brocquy], who remembers Clarke as a visitor at her parents house in the late-1930 and 1940s.

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