'A LYRIC OF BEAUTY'

In your issue of 28 June, a biography of Archibald MacLeish was reviewed by Thomas Mallon, who, citing Edmund Wilson and Amy Lowell, dismisses MacLeish as a "literary trimmer." The judgment is too harsh by far.

I know nothing of Mr. Mallon's work, but Lowell and Wilson were never in their born days capable of "You, Andrew Maravell," a 36-line lyric of beauty rarely matched in American letters. I first encountered those lines half a century ago, and not yet have they lost their purity, their resonance, or their rhythm. I'd die happy if I'd written them myself.

Is it possible that Mr. Mallon is unacquainted with a poem so enviable that he has read the biography and not the poet?

JOHN SANFORD

SANTA BARBARA

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