Buchanan's Letters


(At the Time of Piggy)

To Charles G.D. Roberts1


     *     *     * break up the log-jam in your trousers?
     About “Piggy”—I am half-way into the poem, and am glad that you agree on the importance of the subject. It will be a strange sort of poem, though, I fear: “pigs is pigs,” you know; though you may get lard out of them, the poetry runs as hard as sap from a frozen maple—and to cook it up one needs to throw in a little salt and pepper, as well as the odd turnip and potato, which from the nature of things might be as ungainly as the gambols of the pig itself. Yet I mean to give the truth of the thing, in spite of this. Ideas do butter parsnips!

Your own,


P.S. Will you please send me a copy of your Kindred of the Wild and The Prisoner of Mademoiselle2—I think they would benefit Walter.

  1. The manuscripts of these letters are in the Charles G.D. Roberts Collection at the University of New Bunswick. All the letters are fragmentary, and appear to have been clipped so as to eliminate comments of a merely personal nature. Unfortunately, Roberts’s side of the correspondence does not seem to have survived, but Buchanan’s letters suggest that between leaving New York in June 1907 and settling in France in June of the following year, he spent time in the Toronto area, and may even have visited Breezy Brae (see the letter of January 12, 1908). See also Collected Letters of Charles G.D. Roberts, ed. Laurel Boone (Fredericton: Grouse Lane, 1989), pp. 284-87. [back]
  2. Roberts’s The Kindred of the Wild: a Book of Animal Life and The Prisoner of Mademoiselle: a Love Story were published in Boston in 1902 and 1904. More Kindred of the Wild and Children of the Wild appeared in 1911 and 1913, and They That Walk in the Wild in 1924. [back]