SOME POETS AND NOVELISTS
LORD DUNSANY, the Irish dramatist, gave a lecture at Yale University on a particularly appropriate day-Hallowe'en, 1919. The thing that impressed the audience more than anything else was the enormous amount of water he drank during the lecture. The huge pitcher of water stood on the table; he preferred to give his lecture sitting down. He would constantly reach over, swallow an entire glass of water, and proceed with the lecture. This went along well enough until he was reading from one of his plays in which the following incident occurred. Two filled cups were offered to a certain character. One of them was harmless; the other was poisoned. The man had to drink, and it was an even chance. As Lord Dunsany came to this dramatic point in his reading, he poured another glass of water out, held it in front of him, and read, 'Shall I drink the poisoned cup?' without observing the situation. After the lecture was over, he said to me, 'I hope the water is good; I drank an awful lot of it, didn't I?'
Sara Teasdale (Filsinger), 1884-1933, the American lyrical poet who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1917, was a good friend of mine; and we both admired the poetry of Vachel Lindsay. The Poetry Society of America offered an annual award, and in 1919 Sara Teasdale, Richard Burton, and I were the Committee. We could not agree, and finally the prize was divided between Carl Sandburg and Stephen Vincent Benét. I had an agreeable afternoon with Sara Teasdale talking about poets and poetry. Considering the