Awards for authors asking aid: The Home Forum Competition
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H. D. Thoreau, c/o Clovis von T. Crummett, Spring, TexasSkip to next paragraph
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I read Chapman's translation of Homer and wrote a sonnet. ''Much have I travelled in the realms of gold.'' Shelley and I are competing to write a metrical romance of four thousand lines. My ''Endymion'' begins, ''A thing of beauty is a joy forever.'' My birth at the Swan and Hoop livery stables, and my apprenticeship to a surgeon, wd hardly inspire anyone to subsidize me in the arts. But without resources from the British Royal Literary Fund, my life as a poet with Fanny Brawne will ''pass into nothingness,'' and I shall stand ''silent, upon a peak in Darien.''
John Keats, c/o June W. Rodgers, La Jolla, Calif.
I hear America singing and would score the music freely in verse, singing of myself, too, alone and in throngs, in fields, at dockside, on terraced mountain slopes, walking, talking, bivouacked on sweet scented earth. But my songs fell tuneless on the ears of the honorable Secretary of the Interior. So my clerkship in that department is locked in the cabinet. Again, I may wander gathering leaves of grass, some cutting, some prairie song, should you remit your generous stipend for an American orchestration.
Walt Whitman, c/o James Scott, Dearborn, Mich.
I am a young writer named Lear,
Whose cash flow is certainly drear,
I'd like to write rhymes
Of only five lines
Ten guineas would make my way clear.
Edward Lear, c/o Harriott W. Haines, Covina, Calif.
Our beloved Hathaway Bookshop has closed. Wellesley residents and many in neighboring towns are disconsolate. I am applying for a grant to pay the salary of a fund-raising, book-minded, enthusiastic person who will begin a campaign in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to open a bookshop in the Hathaway tradition: browsing , friendliness, variety - with a section to please young children as well as adults. I am a retired professor little known by name, though millions sing my words to ''America, the Beautiful.'' Two A's, please, in
KAthArine Lee Bates, c/o Ruth H. Carter, Corvallis, Ore.
As our dear friend Coleridge modestly mentioned receiving a ten guinea grant from the Fund, I am hoping that you will consider my brother William an equally worthy recipient. Please do not let this quiet suggestion from a prejudiced sister influence your good judgment unduly, but you, of course, know that ''Lyrical Ballads'' was the work of two poets, Coleridge, whom you have already recognized, and my brother William, who also merits appreciation. This note is, if you please, confidential.
Dorothy Wordsworth, c/o Kathleen Morehouse, Moravian Falls, N.C.
You may think me mad - forgive a mind overwrought - but I am entranced by her , and I implore you to aid my search. Versling's ''Somnia'' shall be my guide - as if I have not examined beauty and death, love and deepest melancholy, sufficiently. Whatsoever path I must descend - be it sinister or sorrow-laden, in dankest Autumn or sepulchral Winter - I shall. The night, the spectre, the tomb cannot can not I tell you, deter me. I must be with her there, finally.
Edgar Allan Poe, c/o Thomas E. Young, Angola, Ind.
I, Louisa May Alcott, would like to apply for a grant of ten guineas in order to pursue my project of writing a book for young people, to encourage them to keep a journal, as I have done, of their daily activities. That way, they may get practice in writing and perhaps earn bread and butter through such practical experience. By placing a value on words, they will not be inclined to waste them , and other people may enjoy them too.
Louisa May Alcott, c/o Dorothy Ellen Hoel, Oakland, Calif.
Thanks to all 150 who tried a demanding assignment, often adding a friendly word - and to M. Catherine Sarnelli of Levittown, N.Y., who wrote that she was not entering the competition and therefore did not feel obliged to hold to the word limit. Anyway: ''If I were a student and in need of funds, I'd prefer to apply to a reputable bank for a student loan than to ask for a grant.''