JULY 15, 1941
EASTPORT, Maine, Monday—Yesterday was a very delightful day. First, for a half an hour, Mrs. Archibald MacLeish sang us charming French and German songs. Then the whole group began to sing them with her. While they have not done much singing as a group, I found they showed signs of getting together and really enjoying it. We have several young people with very nice voices and several who play the piano.
Dr. and Mrs. David Levy lunched with us and after lunch we went back to join the students and listen to Mr. MacLeish, who read a commencement address which he delivered this spring, and his poem: "America Was Promises." To hear him read, either prose or poetry, is an unforgettable experience. It was so beautiful that I think that everyone present felt that, in applauding, they were breaking a spell of beauty which had been cast about them.
At about 3:30 Mr. and Mrs. MacLeish left and then I listened to a discussion between Justice Frankfurter and some of the students on the need for political organizations.
To my joy, when we returned to our own house, I found that our son, Jimmy, and his wife had arrived. Soon after, Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., came, having flown up from New York City under somewhat uncertain weather conditions. The fog here was thick until about 5:00 o'clock, when it suddenly began to clear and the setting sun shone through a rift in the clouds on the water, making the mouth of the river look like a pool of gold.
Today is a really beautiful day and I hope we shall have one of our best sunsets to show Dr. Alfred Cohn and Justice Frankfurter how beautiful this place can really be. For the past two days, they have had rain and fog, mixed with a heavy Scotch mist whenever the rain stopped, which anywhere else would be called a drizzle.
Yesterday evening, I read aloud some selections of rather lighter poetry, ending up with one serious group from: "John Brown's Body," by Stephen Vincent Benet, after which the students began to ask for poems which were special favorites. I was interested to find how many young people read poetry for pleasure. One of them asked me to bring some poems by Langston Hughes, another would like me to read Hood's: "The Song of The Shirt."
A few letters were written last night, but I still have a desk covered with things which ought to be done before I leave here Tuesday morning. I have little time this morning, because Justice Frankfurter is going to speak at 10:30 and none of us want to miss hearing his speech and the discussion afterwards.