“My dear Annie:
Thanks & always thanks for all you send me. I sent a note to you this A. M. This aft. we get a mail, a ton! Ask the little owl if she has been asked to write a love poem for the New Illustrated Weekly Journal in Philadelphia — I have! Bismillah! Oscar Wilde has written one in it. Who will dare enter the field with him. Now Heaven save the mark!
I have been making a horses-blanket all day long, out of old pieces of carpet that have been lying about the stable — not the most savory occupation, not exactly conducive to meditation upon love poems. As the lady Angela says in Patience “O Sir, leave us; our minds are but ill attuned to light love-talk!” The owlet will appreciate this reminiscence of our favorite…
…I thank you so much for all your notes & enclosures & sweet kindnesses — Kiss the blinking beloved owl for me & believe me ever & always your
Letter to Annie Fields, 1882.*
In this letter, Thaxter’s use of the word “owl” refers to her nickname for Sarah Orne Jewett.
* MS C.1.38.Box 2 Folder 2 (174-190), Rare Books Department, Boston Public Library.