Tuesday, April 24, 2007

A Letter from Home:

Robert Gilmour

I could not bee with you

New York, 23 June 1865

I sit down to convay some of my ideas to you on paper

I have got along prity well since you left

it is prety hard to fill your place in my eyes

in reality the[re] ar[e] few can doo it

I am ancious how your howrs pafs

if ever you give me a thought atall


all that troubles me is the sleeping

I am going to go out to the pasure tomorrow evening

in the place whare

I would like to be my self

I cannot get along for the sleeping as I thought I could


my dear pet tak[e] good care

I can write but litle more to night

believe me as ever

your afection[ate] husband


good Night My dear pet

good Night.

Mary Pollock Gilmour

As time has not permitted that I complete parts II & III of the Pneumatic Retrospective I am posting this poem. Well, actually, its a poem made up from my GGGrandfathers' words taken from a love letter to his wife while she was on a trip back to County Londonderry. I have removed the gossip** and conversational asides to form the emotional content laced through out the letters, expressing his longing for her, and his distress at their being apart, into a poetic format. It may not be poetry to you but it is to me. And I am sure that it would seem so, to anyone who has been separated by time, circumstances and great distance, from the one you truly love.

**O.K., So here is some of the gossip too:

[...dear Mary I think the[re] are some thing up next door

Mrs Neal was brought home drunk tonight +

the old man hase not been hear this too nights

I think the[re] will be a brake up in the shanty prity soon

she sends her love to you sutch sorts it is but

you know she is drunk...]


  1. Oh, Mark, this is a stitch (the gossip) and the poetry is lovely. I don't know how much you lifted directly from the letter and how much you wrote yourself, but it is beautiful and so in character. You are doing good work. Love the photos.

  2. Some select Comments received via E-mail:

    Great job Mark,

    site looks A+


    Mark - your poetic transpositions are utterly charming, and remind me of some of early (and later) James Joyce. The longing and the detail are wonderful.
    Art Willis