at steele hill farm

Laconia, N.H.

Aug 24- 1946

Dear Paul —

Your letter reaches me the day of my departure. I have been following your suggestion, and have been taking a vacation from the book and its various problems, as well as from all Love affaires. Shall be back in harness the week after Labor Day.

I wish someone would have an inspiration for a title. You refer to it as "VICTOR SHIP" — Mr. Ober's temporary title for it is "MURRAY VALE". I tell people, who ask for the title, sometimes, "THE DEEP END", sometimes, "BROTHER OF HIS BROTHER", sometimes "FUGITIVE", sometimes "THE COPPER URN", based on that rhyme I quoted.

"I shape the vessel of my life.
hammer it cold, hammer it hot
I try my best to make of it
What it is not.

Blow, bellows, blow!
Burn, fire, burn!
I try to shape a silver vase
Out of a copper urn."

Isn't there a title some where in those eight lines?


Olive Higgins Prouty

MS Am 2105 (210), Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co. archive, Houghton Library, Harvard University

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