The following is a quote from
Always Someone to Kill the Doves: A Life of Sheila Watson
by F. T. Flahiff . NeWest Press, 355 pages, $34.95
"Mewnwhile, Sheila's efforts on behalf of Wilfred's poetry met with
greater success than [Prof.] Salter's efforts on behalf of her novel.
Faber & Faber, in the person of T.S. Eliot, wrote to "Miss Sheila
Watson" on 5 January 1955: "I and one of my colleagues and a third
critic have all read FRIDAY'S CHILD, and we are very positively
of the opinion that Faber & Faber should publish these very remarkable
poems." A few years later, a senior editor with Faber provided Sheila
with a first-hand account of Eliot's response to Wilfred's manuscript:
'how "Tom" had read steadily for two hours and came in wonder at the
discovery -- the first real Caadian poetry -- that is the first real poetry
written in Canada.'
"Eliot had asked for information about the author, and to be put "into
direct communication with him in relation to a contract." It was Sheila,
however, not Wilfred who replied to his letter. 'I have given your
letter to my
husband. He has authorized me to accept Faber &Faber's offer of
On a more personal note, she admitted toEliot that his letter 'was the
an act of faith,' and she ended the requested brief account of
Wilfred's life with
a declaration: 'His complete and consuming passion is poetry. His whole
turned to it as to the sun.'"
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