Lilly Library Manuscript Collections

RAGO MSS.

The Rago mss, 1930-1967, consist of the correspondence and writings of Henry Rago, 1915-1969, poet and editor of Poetry which was founded by Harriet Monroe in Chicago in 1912; letters to his wife, Mrs. Juliet (Maggio) Rago, artist; poems contributed to Poems in Folio for vol. 1, 1957; and writings by other poets, drawings and photographs.

The correspondence begins with Rago's submission of poems to Poetry at age fourteen and letters from Harriet Monroe. It continues with the contribution of other poems for publication throughout his career; his work as a reviewer for Commonweal in 1946 and 1947; his relationship with Golden Goose Press in 1948 and 1949 which published The Travelers; the joint editorship with Stanley Jasspon Kunitz and Richard Wilbur of Poems in Folio in 1957 and 1958. Rago was appointed editor of Poetry in 1955 following Karl Jay Shapiro in that capacity. In 1961 he participated with Carl Benson and Macha Louis Rosenthal in a number of conferences on twentieth century American poetry in Germany so successfully that Rosenthal endeavored to arrange another such tour as noted in his letter to George Tufford Moody on Feb. 11, 1963. Shortly before his death on May 26, 1969, Rago had resigned as editor effective in the Fall in order to return to the University of Chicago as a professor where he had previously taught during 1947 to 1954.

Some of the letters are addressed jointly to Henry and Juliet Rago. The correspondents are: Leonie Adams, Mortimer Jerome Adler, William Alfred, George Anastaplo, Lee Anderson, George Warren Arms, Wystan Hugh Auden, Sister Mary Aurelia, Arno Lehman Bader, Roy Prentice Basler, Ben Belitt, Marvin Bell, Joseph Bennett, Carl Benson, H. A. Berens, Gianluigi Biagioni Gazzoli, Mrs. Katherine Garrison (Chapin) Biddle, Mrs. Etta Blum, Frederick Bock, Carl Bode, Mrs. Fanny (Butcher) Bokum, Yves Bonnefoy, Wayne C. Booth, Elizabeth (Mann) Borghese, Cornelia N. Borgerhoff, Mrs. Julia (Lecour) Bowe, Anthony Bower, John Malcolm Brinnin, Jeanne A. Broburg, John Broderick, Gwendolyn Brooks, Mrs. Roaslie (Moore) Brown, Mrs. Marie (Granes) Bullock, William Skelly Burford, Kenneth Burke, Mother Margaret Burke, Redmond Ambrose Burke, Frederick Henry Burkhardt, James Burnham, Mrs. Monica Burnham, Philip Burnham, Stanley Burnshaw, Victor L. Butterfield, Marguerite Caetani, Ernest Callenbach, Gladys Campbell, Mrs. Cynthia (Mers) Carangi, Oscar Cargill, Margaret Haley Carpenter, Paul Carroll, Hayden Carruth, Sara Carruth, Mrs. Linda (Lindbergh) Cavallon, John Ciardi, William P. Clancy, Lawrence Walter Clark, Arthur Allen Cohen, Herbert C. Cohen, Elliott Coleman, Boyd Compton, Sherman Conrad, John Robert Cortelyou, Malcolm Cowley, Maurice Browning Cramer, Milton Crane, Ronald Salmon Crane, Hubert Creekmore, Mrs. Jane Cuddeback, L.H. Cullen, Margaret Danner, Martin Cyril D'Arcy, Gustav Davidson, Reuel Denny, Peter De Vries, James Dickey, George Dillon, George Brendan Dowell, Bernard Duffey, Pierre Albert Duhamel, Robert Edward Duncan, Ralph Anthony Dungan, Frederick Eckman, Sister Edwin Mary, James Eichelberger, Thomas Stearns Eliot, Donald R. Ellegood, Richard Wirtz Emerson, Mrs. Mary (Nisson) Engle, Paul Hamilton Engle, Maurice English, Clayton Eshleman, Mrs. Hazel R. Ferguson, Robert Fitzgerald, Lucille Caroline Follmer, Wallace Fowlie, John Towner Frederick, Mrs. Anne (Jackson) Fremantle, Kimon Friar, Edward C. Fuller, David Galler, Glauco Gambon, Harold Charles Gardiner, Jean Garrigue, Hugh M. Garvey, Michael Gibson, John R. Goetz, Leon Golden, Mrs. Barbara (Gibbs) Golffing, Charles Harold Gray, Paul Erick Gorrin, Mrs. Maragaret Gray, Philip Hayward Gray, Arthur Gregor, Joseph Leonard Grucci, Jean Howard Hagstrum, Richard Hart, Louis Hasley, James H. Heineman, Robert Alfred Holzhauer, Mrs. Gertrude (Stephenson) Hooker, Richard Howard, Vincent Hoya, Andrew Hoyem, Dan Isaac, Mrs. Josephine (Boylan) Jacobsen, Sister Mary Jeremy, George W. John, Carol Virginia Johnson, Umashankar Jethalal Joshi, Hugh Kenner, Mrs. Mary Josephine (Waite) Kenner, Walter Francis Kerr, Jerome Gregory Kerwin, Russell Amos Kirk, Carolyn Kizer, Bernard Robert Kogan, Herman Kogan, Otto Frederick Kraushaar, Mrs. Elizabeth Kray, Stanley Jasspon Kunitz, Ann Landers, Violet Ranney Lang, Raymond Edward Francis Larsson, James Laughlin, Paul Lawson, Thomas C. Lea, Frank Lentricchia, Denise Levertov, Arthur Lerner, Robert Lescher, Willard A. Lockwood, John Logan, Val Lorwin, Charles Townsend Ludington, Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn, Ann Lynch, John Lynch, Andrew Nelson Lytle, Robie Mayhew Macauley, John Anthony McCarthy, Mrs. Jessica (North) MacDonald, Mrs. Isabelle (Sullivan) McDonnell, Robert M. MacGregor, Richard Peter McKeon, Jacques Maritain, Mrs. R"issa (Oumansoff) Maritain, Edward Alexander Martin, Mrs. Charlotte Marshall, John Marshall, Margaret Marshall, Francis Scarlett Mason, Jr., Harding T. Mason, A. J. Maydieu, William Maxwell, John William Meaney, John H. Meyer, Ralph J. Mills, Jr., Mrs. Marion (Strobel) Mitchell, Harriet Monroe, Samuel Moon, Marianne Moore, Frederick Morgan, Jack Morris, Howard Moss, Lawrence Quincy Mumford, Mme. Renee (Spodheim) Nantet, John Ulric Nef, Mrs. Bonnie (Larkin) Nims, John Frederick Nims, Anais Nin, William Van O'Connor, Frank O'Hara, Charles Olson, Elder James Olson, Mrs. Geraldine Louise (Hays) Olson, Neal Oxenhandler, John James Ellis Palmer, Mrs. Elizabeth S. (Allen) Pargellis, Stanley Pargellis, C. G. Paulding, Norman Holmes Pearson, Oscar William Perlmutter, Lyon Phelps, Morris H. Philipson, John Pick, "Poetry" (Chicago), George Louis Playe, Johannes Poethen, Ralph Pomeroy, Mrs. Marie (Birmingham) Ponsot, Katherine Anne Porter, Mrs. Eleanor (Edwards) Prince, Henry Rago, William Raine, John Crowe Ransom, David Ray, James M. Redfield, Mrs. Margaret (Park) Redfield, Robert Redfield, Mrs. Eleanor (Scattergood) Regnery, Henry Rednery, Barbara Reid, Blanch Rene, Kenneth Rexroth, Alfredo Rizzardi, David Rockefeller, Theodore Roethke, Raymond Roseliep, Stanley Rosen, Harold Rosenberg, Isaac Rosenfeld, Macha Louis Rosenthal, David Ross, Barnett Lee Rosset, Henry Whittington Sams, Ernest Emanuel Sandeen, Ed Sanders, William Saroyan, Mrs. Marcia (Masters) Schmid, Walter Schmucker, Nathan Alexander Scott, Winfield Townley Scott, Franz Schulze, Mrs. Evelyn (Katz) Shapiro, Karl Jay Shapiro, Roger Whitney Shattuck, Mrs. Eunice Mary (Kennedy) Shriver, Robert Sargent Shriver, George Nauman Shuster, Yves Rene Simon, Edith Sitwell, Edward S. Skillin, William Sloane, Gerald Alfred Smith, Ray W. Smith, Hyman Jordan Sobiloff, Mrs. Mary Ellen (Bottom) Solt, Ben Sonnenberg, Jr., Robert William Speaight, Monroe Kirklyndorf Spears, William Stafford, George Robert Strange, Mrs. Edith (Alpert) Steinberg, Mrs. Ruth (Walgreen) Stephan, Mrs. Ann (London) Stern, Gerd Stern, Helen Stewart, Thomas John Strich, Robert Manning Strozier, Richard Thomas Sullivan, James Johnson Sweeney, John L. Sweeney, Harry Ambrose Sylvester, John Tagliabue, Thurairajah Tambimuttu, Mrs. Edith (Hamburg) Tarcov, Alice Tassainer, Allen John Orley Tate, Mrs. Caroline (Gordon) Tate, Mrs. Isabella (Gardner) Tate, Ernest Warnock Tedlock, Alice B. Toklas, Mrs. Brenda Tomlinson, Charles Tomlinson, Mrs. Eve Triem, Jack Tworkov, Peter Tyler, Geraldine Udell, Louis Untermeyer, Mark Van Doren, Hubert Van Zeller, Vassilis Vassilikos, Giambattista Vicari, Mrs. Dorothy (Gant) Vivas, Eliseo Vivas, Bernard Joseph Wall, Frederick Champion Ward, Leo Richard Ward, Robert Penn Warren, Richard Malcolm Weaver, William Fense Weaver, James Lehman Weil, Theodore Russell Weiss, Eudora Welty, John Hall Wheelock, Helen Constance White, Reed Whittemore, Fred Dernburg Wiek, Mrs. Charlotte (Ward) Wilbur, Richard Wilbur, Wendell Wilcox, Amos Niven Wilder, Oscar Williams, Yvor Winters, Mrs. Nancy (Tate) Wood, Mrs. Cary (Newbury) Woods, Morton Dauwen Zabel, Alexis Zakythinos, Louis Zukofsky, Harold Zyskind.

The early writings of Henry Rago are enclosed with letters from editors and include: The Bride, n.d. (enclosed with Morton Dauwen Zabel to Rago, Dec. 13, 1934); Cement-mixer, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Corpse, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Aug. 23, 1932); A fitful splendor [book review], n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Apr. 23, 1936); Five o'clock factory whistle, n.d. (enclosed with Harried Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Foggy morning on an "L" platform, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Fulfillment, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Aug. 23, 1932); Letters to a dead girl, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 22, 1933); Lucine, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 22, 1933); Night scene: Lake Michigan, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Rain against the stars, n.d. (enclosed with Morton Dauwen Zabel to Rago, Dec. 13, 1934); Song of a brief April, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Aug. 24, 1935); Stormy night, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Street car on a wintry morning, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Jan. 10, 1930); Three poems, n.d. (enclosed with Karl Jay Shapiro to Rago, June 14, 1951); Today we lived, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Aug. 24, 1935); Tree silhouette, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930); Twilight-rest, n.d. (enclosed with Harriet Monroe to Rago, Nov. 17, 1930).

Other writings by Henry Rago in Rago mss. Writings are: Catalogue written for the Rudolph Weisenborn Retrospective show, Sept. 18-19, 1965 (folio - first and final drafts, proof, and print); Faith and the literary imagination, Nov. 18, 1966 (draft as paper presented at conference at the University of Chicago, final typescript published as "The Vocation of Poetry" in Poetry, August, 1967); Introduction of Thomas Stearns Eliot at Orchestra Hall, Chicago, Nov. 6, 1959 (speaking and press copies); Introduction of Thomas Stearns Eliot at Fullerton Hall, Art Institute, Chicago, Nov. 8, 1959 (draft); Notes taken at symposium at Duke University, Apr. 23-24, 1965 (worksheets formed bases for remarks in final lecture); Opening speech at the National Poetry Festival, and introductions of three speakers, 1962 (carbon - with holograph corrections) (the three speakers were Louise Bogan, Stanley Jasspon Kunitz, Morton Dauwen Zabel); Praise of Comedy: a discourse, 1963 (first draft entitled The Comic Understanding as Wisdom, second draft with holograph notes, proof with holograph notes, published in Poetry, Oct.-Nov., 1963, pp. 82-84 (Lilly PS301 .P6)); Preface to the Phoenix Edition, June, 1967 (first draft, carbon of final typescript - preface to the Phoenix edition of Poetry for October, 1962); A Sky of Late Summer, 1963 (printer's copy, four sets of galley proofs with holograph notes for 7/22/63, 2 copies, 8/29/63, 9/11/63 - published by Macmillan, New York, 1963, PS3535 .A27 S6); T. S. Eliot, A Memoir and a Tribute, Mar. 1965 (proof with holograph notes - published in Poetry for March, 1965); Tribute to Katherine Anne Porter, Nov. 18, 1966 (3 drafts - with copies of two letters from Katherine Anne Porter appended, Nov. 4 and 16, 1966).

Rago mss. Poems in Folio consist of thirty-seven poems contributed by George Barker, Verses to my niece Veronica on her Twenty-first Birthday; Louise Bogan, July Dawn, March Twilight; Katherine de Montalant Hoskins, Bacchanal, Duty, The Unpowerful; Elizabeth Jennings, The Austrian Border, The Child and the Seashell (No. 6), The Moment, The Roman Forum, Taken by Surprise; Kenneth Koch, Chanson, Spring; Howard Moss, The Lover Asleep; Howard Nemerov, Limits, Reflexions on the seizure of the Suez..., Small Moment (No. 4); Frank Templeton Prince, The Stolen Heart (No. 5); Adrienne Cecil Rich, David's Boyhood, The Knight (No. 3), Rural Reflections, "Travail et Joie"; Karl Jay Shapiro, The House (No. 7); Louis Simpson, Against the Age, The Lover's Ghost, The Silent Generation, Tom Pringle; May Swenson, In the Egyptian Room; Charles Tomlinson, The Castle, Geneva Restored, The Jam Trap, Night Fears, Rose-hips, Solo for a Glass Harmonica (No. 8), The Spirits' Address to Prospero, Walking to Bells; William Carlos Williams, Sappho (3 versions). Of these writings the six numbered poems appear among the eleven signed poems in Poems in Folio, vol. 1, San Francisco, 1957 (Lilly PS586 .P7 Set. No. 11). The poems by Louise Bogan, July Dawn, and William Carlos Williams, Sappho, also appear in the volume but are unnumbered among the manuscripts. The other three poems in the volume by Katherine de Montalant Hoskins, Theodore Roethke, and James Vincent Cunningham do not appear in manuscript form in Rago mss.

Other poets whose writings are enclosed with correspondence are: Hayden Carruth, Depression (with Carruth to Rago, June 27, 1956), Saturday night it always rains in Chicago (with Carruth to Rago, Nov. 19, 1963); Elliott Coleman, Encore (with Coleman to Rago, May 12, 1965); Robert Alfred Holzhauer, Silent as the very night... (with Holzhauer to Rago, Nov. 9, 1948); George W. John, Your toys shall justly be destroyed (with John to Rago, May 8, 1946); Raymond Edward Francis Larsson, The Easter Flowers (enclosed with Larsson to Rago, Apr. 20, 1949), Song: "For mandolins, the melons will do..." (enclosed with Larsson to Rago, Apr. 17, 1947), "Ye Beasts & All ye Cattle" (appended to Larsson to Rago, Mar. 31, 1949), Yes, perhaps... (enclosed with Larsson to Rago, Apr. 20, 1949); John Logan, The death of Southwell (with Logan to Rago, Nov. 22, 1954); Stanley Rosen, The Ascent of Mont Ventoux (with Rosen to Rago, Aug. 5, 1949), Bronx afternoon, A comedy of terror, Every street is a star, "Give birth to yourself again," Hymn for a certain night (all enclosed with Rosen to Rago, n.d.), Meditation (with Rosen to Rago, Dec. 29, 1949), The Mirror (with Rosen to Rago, n.d.), "My loves! The Poem is a cross" (with Rosen to Rago, Aug. 31, 1949), My Mad Boy, Note on a penitent evening, November Seapiece, On discovering Riverside Park, On first entering a church, On the mystery of simultaneity (all enclosed with Rosen to Rago, n.d.), On reading St. Thomas (with Rosen to Rago, Oct. 20, 1949), Thoughts on the Thanksgiving Snow, Violets of night, When the fish come up at dawn (all with Rosen to Rago, n.d.), The Young dismiss themselves, the Old repent (with Rosen to Rago, Dec. 19, 1949); Richard Thomas Sullivan, Admonitory sonnet (with Sullivan to Rago, Sept. 21, 1963); Amos Niven Wilder, The Nativity (enclosed with Wilder to Rago, Nov. 14, 1965); Alexis Zakythinos, Coming of Age, Criminology, Esoteric, In Asylum, Nautical Adventure (with Zakythinos to Rago, Mar. 4, 1964).

Writings by other poets in Rago mss. Writings include: Paul Carroll, The night train to Kansas City, n.d.; Chicago Stagebill, Text for the performance of The cocktail Party in memory of T. S. Eliot, Oct. 17, 1964; Robert Edward Duncan, Earth's Winter Song, 1965, We heard it as a cry..., 1966; Paul Erik Gorrin, First Love (bound - [32] leaves), 1966; Robert Alfred Holzhauer, When joy has destiny cast past remorse..., n.d.; George W. John, [Poems] To Henry Rago and ... Juliette [sic], ([15] leaves), Aug. 7-Sept. 1, 1950; Carol Virginia Johnson, Advice and good wishes, n.d., Song, n.d.; Violet Ranney Lang, I too have lived in Arcadia (bound - [57] leaves. - acting script with holograph corrections - accompanies with playbill of first performance), n.d.; Raymond Edward Francis Larsson, & when from earth up..., n.d., Detail: the City, Mar. 8, 1948, Detail: the City, n.d., The Flagpole, Apr. 1, 1948, Joan Miro: "Woman and Bird in the Night," Mar. 19, 1948, Moon &:, n.d., Ode, Mar. 23, 1948, So, Aprille:, Apr. 4, 1949; John Logan, Contagious wind (published in Partisan Review, Jan. 1953), Cycle for Mother Cabrini (with 2 copies of Part Two, published in Poetry, Mar. 1953), Four songs after Rilke, n.d., Lines for a child who fell through the ice of the Black River (published in Northern Review), n.d., Monologue for the Good Friday Christ, n.d., A pathological case in Pliny (published in Partisan Review, Jan. 1953), n.d., The poem as relic (published in Northern Review), n.d., Prologue and questions for St. Augustine, n.d., Recollection (appended to A pathological case...), n.d., Swans (appended to A young pagan's Saturday), n.d., The winter was too long (appended to Contagious wind), n.d., A young pagan's Saturday (published in Accent, Spring 1953); Ann Lynch, Christmas (mounted on a collage by Raymond Edward Francis Larsson), n.d.; Jean Mambrino, Nativite (French), Aug. 8, 1966; Charles Pattison, Lonely old man dying, Wanting nothing, Once separate, Revision, n.d.; Paul Reps, Picture poems entitled Ask, Let breath breathe the great breath, Through prison bars..., Standing in rain..., n.d.; John Tagliabue, 1. There is an invisible bridge..., 2. Suspended from sleep..., 3. Angels sound..., 1963, 1. A Tree's a Tree for All That, 2. There is only One great society..., 3. Can you detect the guardian angel..., 4. The suns of the Family of Man..., (poems from A Maine Journal), 1965, 1. With the gown of green..., 2. The beginning of Handel's MESSIAH, 3. epiphany, 1966; Mrs. Eve Triem, When J. R. Draws, Dec. 26, 1966.

Drawings in Rago mss. are those of Raymond Edward Francis Larsson, 16 drawings and collages (enclosed with letters to Rago, Sept. 24, 1946, 1946 only, Jan. 7, 18, Mar. 8, 1948), 46 drawings and collages, 1945-1949, in Rago mss. Drawings, 1 collage (used as mounting for Christmas poem by Ann Lynch, n.d.) in Rago mss. Writings: and those of Mrs. Eve Triem, 1 drawing (appended to letter to Rago, Dec. 1966) and 4 drawings: Noel (2), The Manger, and Mary, 1961-1965, in Rago mss. Drawings.

Rago mss. Photographs include 16 pictures with one of Henry Rago posed with John Ciardi, Aug. 1964, and one of Rago with his wife Juliet, ca. 1966.

Printed materials include the following: Christmas cards; press releases and information sheets for the First National Poetry Festival, Oct. 1962; Henry Rago, Articles in Poetry and Criterion; Henry Rago, Memorabilia: invitations, honors, etc.; Henry Rago, News clippings, 1963-1967; Henry Rago, Speaking engagement brochures and announcements; Henry Rago, Reviews of A Sky of Late Summer; Miscellaneous printed items. Some of the material is in an oversize folder.

Collection size: 1,258 items

Related manuscripts: Rago mss. II, Rago mss. III

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.