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#1464: Willa Cather to Yaltah Menuhin, December 19 [1939]

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⬩W⬩S⬩C⬩ My Darling Yaltah1

Oh, you were a dear to send me a birthday letter! But you must write me only when you feel an impulse to do so. I have to write so many letters from duty, that I never write to the people I love except when I want to feel them nearer. Edith4 has written you about how Yehudi5 and Nola6 brought the baby7 to see me on my birthday. Wasn’t it lovely of them?

My dear, I want to tell you a little secret. I ordered a package sent to your mother8 for Christmas—some books. You must tell her I don’t expect to read them all, but I would like to have them at Los Gatos3 in your house. One Volume9 has some bad verse in it which will shock my Yaltah. But the verses have a sort of right to le be second-rate poetry, for they are all ballads, and the English ballad, you know, is made only to tell a story—directly or indi indirectly. Ballads are the poetry of the people, not the poetry of poets. Besides, these verses were made when the writer was too young to be very critical,—or very wise.

No, I have not walked with Zamira in the Park. She goes for her walk early, ten oclock or before. But I did meet her accidentally in the Park one morning, attended by both her parents. It was the morning of Yehudi’s recital10 in Carnegie Hall. It was nice to meet by chance like that. We chatted for a few moments, and then Zamira (vocally) reminded me that her father was going home to rest for his concert, and that I should follow my trail toward the 72nd street entrance, which I did.

The recital that evening was glorious. I don’t think Yehudi has ever had such an overwhelming reception in New York2. One felt so much love in it, thousands of human hearts trying to say what joy he had given them—as if they had found again a lost treasure or a lost faith.

Your loving Aunt Willa
Miss Yaltah Menuhin1 Los Gatos3 California P.O. Box "P" NEW YORK, N. Y. 2 DEC 19 1939 530 PM 193912