- 10 Sept 1925
Trevelyan's address c/o G[ordon] Bottomley, The Sheiling, Silverdale, near Carnforth. - Strachey's article in last week's "Spectator" [see 26/12/5] gave Trevelyan much pleasure: it is a 'rare experience to be appreciated at once so generously and so understandingly'. Was very glad Strachey quoted the chorus on Man from the "Antigone", as he thinks his own 'somewhat dangerous experiment of trying to reproduce the Greek metre comes nearest to success' there. What Strachey says about his translation of Theocritus is also 'very gratifying': Trevelyan had worried that the 'expectations and the absence of rhyme in that metre would prove a stumbling block'. Expected that few people would agree with his comment about [Theocritus's] "Sorceress" being the 'greatest of love poems": perhaps he 'went too far', but did not intend to compare it with dramas, short lyrics and sonnets; even among long poems he admits Chaucer's "Troilus [and Criseyde]" and Marlowe's "Hero and Leander" could be argued to be 'greater'. Hoped to 'provoke dissent' but so far Strachey is the only critic to have challenged his assertion. Very pleased to find someone who understands and generally agrees with what he says about metre in "Thamyris"; thinks he could have been more convincing with more space for illustrations, and would also have liked to have given some examples of 'good and bad poetic rhetoric'. Has always thought Campion's ' "Rose-cheeked Laura" was a 'very remarkable invention"; Strachey may have noticed that he translated several Theocritean epigrams into it. Is himself 'no enemy of rhyme' but thinks there are 'great possibilities in unrhymed lyrical verse in English' which modern vers libre writers have not explored fully.