Buchanan's Letters


To Charles G.D. Roberts


Dear Sludge (for so I must call you if you persist in your folly)—

     Know you if there is any truth to the tail [sic] that a King of France ordered pigs to dance in his bedroom, bedizened in ribbons and pantaloons, and accompanied by bagpipes?1 Would that I could browse the Toronto library to discover for myself.
     But you know that is impossible after Walter found my letters. I am now nearly a prisoner at Breezy Brae—shut off from all but the snow and sun and my beloved pigs and ducks. I shall make the light shine kindly on them. But I shall demand at least a room of my own—a cubicle in the men’s room that is the world to read and to write and to stitch together my book of poems, which I have decided to call Country Breezes.
     This morning during my constitutional a part of verse came from me whole:


Nobody stuffs the world in at your lips.
The haptic mouth must venture: a sty-break,
A Toronto vacation. Cutlets and baked potatoes
Grace Limoges china. The awakened tastebuds quake
With juices. All ways through the aromatic air
Trundle flower-bright candies....

     What think you?2
     If you find what I ask in the library, please send it in my name c/o David and Pecker Cattle and Chicken Feed in Clarksburg, and I will get it some time.
     Do not try to tempt me to Toronto again. It is no use, and I even think that I may be content in my own world.

Very Sincerely,


  1. A legend associated with Louis X1 (1423-1483). [back]
  2. No poem containing these or similar lines appears in Country Breezes from Breezy Brae. [back]