Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Ursula Wood

Letter No.: 
[About October 1942]

My Dear

This is pencil - not because I am ill but because I have lost my pen.  I lie in bed this morning - just a precaution & having nothing to take me out & I can do all my correspondence & copying film music just as well in bed.
I like your poem - though there is one line I don’t understand “netting me in their meaning and their care1
- Also is not the end an anticlimax - ought not the voice - or do you plan a deliberate anticlimax like in Sohrab & Rustum.2
- I think the ‘Shepherds’ was the best performance ever - though our wireless behaved shockingly and alternately howled and whispered.3
Love from


1. Line 7 of ‘There are voices’ printed in Fall of Leaf, (Oxford, 1943), p.12.
2. The last three lines of the poems are:
So I listen, listen as he [a shipwrecked man] will stare
I for your voice, and he remembering land
beyond the waves’ inhuman and unchanging dance.
How is the poem by Matthew Arnold relevant to this?
3. A broadcast at the time of VW’s 70th birthday celebrations?

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
MS Mus. 1714/2/1/1, f. 36
Original database number: