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June 22, 1965 - Image 2

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1965-06-22

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y Seventy-Third Year
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.
A South Vietnamese Government
Must Include Viet Cong

Teach-In Must Return to Grassroots

[HE DETERIORATING, dangerous situ-
ation in Viet Nam is today not only a
object of immediate concern but results
a the events which are bound to have
ar reaching effects on the world. Critics
ave said that unless there is a successful
Alution to this crisis, the determined
rategy of military action by the United
tates in Viet Nam will drag Asia into a
iassive war-perhaps a nuclear war-.
leaning the destruction of mankind.
The criticism has incessantly mounted
uring the last 18 weeks as President
ohnson's policy in Viet Nam developed
rom that of retaliatory actions to "esca-
ation" with bombings on North Viet
am. Many University campuses are wit-
essing demonstrations, peaceful teach-
es and a march on the White House by
5,000 students to demand an immediate
nd to the war in Viet Nam and with-
rawal without loss of prestige or nation-
1 security.
Public opinion, which previously had
avored to a certain extent Johnson's
olicy of reprisals, is increasingly inclined
>ward disfavor of the present policy.
Even members from his own party have
xpressed deep concern over the war and
ave demanded withdrawal from Viet
)RESIDENT JOHNSON, presenting his
policy in his State of Union message,
yid, "Our goal is peace in Southeast Asia.
hat will come only when aggressors
ave their neighbors in peace."
And this peace is apparently difficult
) achieve at the moment for peace re-
uires the cessation of war activities by
l parties involved. The position taken by
orth Viet Nam and China during the
,st eighteen weeks rules out any im-
tediate possibility to stop the action
Ithout a major struggle.
It is widely believed in the official
rcles on the Capitol Hill that peace at
ie moment is not the goal of the Viet
ong; they profess to hope for a total
etory in South Viet Nam. Peking has
instantly encouraged them and Hanoi
ill not stop sending its supplies and
ilitary advisors despite the bombings
a it by the U.S. In fact they have not
idged from their stand and have con-
arily intensified their support of the
iberation war in South Viet Nam."
This is why the "unconditional offer"
Johnson has gone unheeded by Peking
id Hanoi. The peace proposals put for-
ard by India, Canada and Britain, apart
bm the United States offer still remain
pen. Even the latest Commonwealth
Who Serves
'HE GREEK MOTTO, "nothing in ex-
cess," is especially appropriate in ap-
ying to the nature of bureaucracy.
Although a bureacracy is necessary, it
ten overgrows its intended function.
The post office, famed for opening al-
ged Communist propaganda, a move
Bich has recently been outlawed by
e Supreme Court, still overextends its
nction in the inspection of packages
nt to other countries.
It is valid for the post office to inspect
tckages entering foreign lands to see
they contain some disease bearing
Lit or contraband, but such inspections
ould impose as few restrictions on the
ivate citizen as possible.
Currently a citizen sending things like
rprise packages to friends cannot have

e package inspected before he sends it
.t rather must stick a label on the
apping indicating content and price.
Zis is not only vulgar but unnecessary.
HE BUREAUCRACY exists to serve the
citizen but the citizen does not exist
pander to procedural idiosyncracies of
e bureaucracy.1
)ITH WARREN........................ Co-Editor
BERT HiPPLER ......:.................. Co-Editor
. . t7 SO ET Ca, -I,4 - \

peace mission proposal for finding a pos-
sible solution for the crisis and the pro-
posed visit of this mission to Hanoi, Pe-
king, Moscow and Saigon has received
only denunciation by China. The Chinese
government overlooks the fact that 15 of
the 21 members of the conference are
from Africa and Asia including Ghana,
Nigeria, Kenya, Trinidad Ceylon and
by the People's Republic of China, the
North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong
leaders in South Viet Nam, having shown
no interest in any kind of negotiation
proposals by the United States and South
Viet Nam, is a compelling one. This rea-
son justifies the determined offensive by
President Johnson to press peace even at
the cost of escalating military action.
The peace offensive is based on the ob-
vious assumption that an unconditional
surrender is not expected from North Viet
Nam. But, the North Vietnamese should
not expect surrender of South Viet Nam
from the United States. The victory is not
going to be so easy for them.
With the monsoon close, it is feared
that the Viet Cong may undertake major
offensive operations to seize victory, as-
suming that the United States air opera-
tion will not be successful in the adverse
weather conditions and this could easily
help them secure more expansion and
President Johnson is prepared to meet
any such odds. His attitude is exemplified
by the fact that, at the moment, 16,000 to
21,000 more American troops are going
into South Viet Nam. This number will
raise the American strength there to a
total of nearly 75,000, out of which 21,000
will be ground combat personnel. These
troops would also, if necessary, fight side
by side with South Vietnamese troops in
the operations. The estimated strength
of the Viet Cong is 195,000, including
part-time guerrillas and political agents.
ONE WOULD therefore arrive at the
conclusion that the solution to the
Viet Nam crisis is likely to be decided by
hard military operations. What would
happen if we think in the terms of the
formula, as advocated by the French
President Charles de Gaulle, "leave the
Vietnamese alone,"
President de Gaulle believes that if all
the interested parties agree to pledge
non-interference and the Vietnamese
were left to themselves, there is every
likelihood that a solution, acceptable to
all could be reached.
Here he agrees with the Soviet Union
that the United States should first stop
bombing North Viet Nam.
He seems to be quite idealistic and un-
concerned with the realities of the situa-
tion. Obviously, he does not want to face
the North Vietnamese-in view of his idea
of non-interference. But, the conse-
quences should be clear to him.
DE GAULLE SHOULD therefore be pre-
pared to see a pro-Communist govern-
ment in the unified Viet Nam if only the
Americans stop their operations and
withdraw from Viet Nam, leaving the
Viet Cong free in their war, supported by
Hanoi supplies of armaments and man-
power. Perhaps, the French President
thinks that it is inevitable that a pro-
Communist government be established for
the unified Viet Nam.
However, the growing concern of many
nations with the immediate need of ex-
ploring the possibilities of a solution and
their collective expressions to do some-
thing in this direction is evident from the
willingness of the Commonwealth of the

Nations conference and the indication
that the forthcoming conference of the
nonaligned nations will explore further
avenues for a settlement.
This points to the hope that a cease-
fire may come into effect as a result of
a conference of interested parties, includ-
ing the People's Republic of China and
the United States. This would be a great
step forward.
If such a conference is held, the powers
striving to see a peaceful South Viet-
namese government must also have to
include the Viet Cong leaders through
their National Liberation Front, since any

EDITOR'S NOTE: Prof. William
A. Williams of the University of
Wisconsin wrote this editorial for
the York, Pa., Gazette and Daily..
THE RECENT teach-in held in
Washington revealed as much
about domestic affairs as about
policy in Viet Nam.
White House proxy McGeorge
Bundy missed class because he
was on an unsuccessful field trip
to correct ancient mistakes in
foreign policy. But the important
thing is that a signficant num-
ber of Americans were less dis-
turbed by his absence than many
of the professors.
That portion of the public fol-
lowed the proceedings with an
attention and involvement that
revealed their deep uneasiness
about present policy. Many of
them has never before heard a
serious discussion of foreign
AS FOR THE columnists, many
of them seemed not to have list-
ened, for they filled their space
with remarks that reflected their
existing attitudes about the state
of the nation.
In truth, the teach-in was an
occasionally dramatic event which
can easily mislead the partici-
pants as well as the public. The
first and crucial thing to under-
stand is that the students largely
supplied the initiative and power
behind the entire movement.
They won early and useful sup-
port and leadership from some
professors on every campus, and
from some non-academics in those
communities. But the students
were the ones who infused the
activity with a deep concera and
a fundamental moral commit-

emphasize the presence of the
beatniks, or the students who
think they are nihilists or Com-
munists, are missing the main
point. To use the language of the
day, a kind of sophisticated square
is emerging from this new gener'-
ation. This does not mean that
they are merely sexually liberat-
ed Puritans or more efficient New
They are young men and
women who are intelligent and
perceptive enough to learn from
their elders without making all
the same mistakes. They have had
enough of Hipsterism as well as
of the Jet-Set, and of the Old
Left as well as of The Establish-
ment. And they are aware that
emancipation involves men as well
as women, and that it concerns
something beyond changing pat-
terns of sexual behavior and be-
yond the freedom and the oppor-
tunity to hustle their wares in the
They are morally committed to
the proposition that the American
system must treat people as peo-
ple, and that the system must be
changed if that is necessary to
achieve that objective. They are
deeply angry about the double
standard of morality they con-
stantly experience.
IT WAS THESE students, sup-
ported by the adults who share
and respond to their concern and
courage, who sparked the general
criticism of American domestic
and foreign policy and who forced
the government to agree to the
The administration's response
to this opposition was regrettably
effective. It first delayed accept-
ing the challenge until the school


year was almost over. That block-
ed an early return engagement,
and so thwarted the possibility of
a continuing dialogue.
It next exploited the desire of
the critics for a direct confronta-
tion by refusing a series of man-
to-man encounters. It made its
participation conditional upon the
panel approach. It also exerted
pressure against specific critics.
FINALLY, JUST before the
event, President Johnson used his
shrewd sense of timing to create
the impression that the govern-
ment was modifying its policy.
The official strategy was large-
ly successful. On the one hand, it
diffused the criticism. On the
other hand, it served in the main
to contain the criticism within the
assumptions of official policy.,

These results can be seen in what
happened to the excellent perfor-
mances by Professors Kahin, Mor-
genthau and Deutscher.
Deutscher's assault on the as-
sumptions of American policy, and
Morgenthau's laying bare the
dangerous unreality of official-
dom's so-called realism, were
blunted by being interlarded with
the high-cholesterol rhetoric of
Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. And, in a
similar way, the impact of Kahin's
quiet, mannered ruthless destruc-
tion of the official argument was
gradually lost in the subsequent
pseudo-debate between too many
people who were given too little
THE TEACH-IN movement be-
gan as a technique of protesting
and countering the incomplete

and misleading official rationali-
zation of a poor and dangerous
policy. The Washington affair
carried it unfortunately far to-
ward being institutionalized as a
glorified faculty meeting of The
The teach-in, if it is to avoid
that unhappy success, must re-
turn to its roots in student and
associated protest, and establish a
strong liason with the civil rights
movement. It might even consider
becoming the foreign policy forum
of the Freedom Democratic Party.
OTHERWISE, it will soon be-
come a periodic seminar oriented
toward the far less important task
of finding even better ways of do-
ing what we are already doing too



CRAFT: Selected Prose of
Theodore Roethke. Edited by
Ralph J. Mills. University of
Washington Press: Seattle. $4.00
A BOOK OF PROSE by a poet
often runs the risk of being a,
disappointment no matterhow
well written. One reads, only to
remember the poetry, and there
is an inevitable disparity.
But there are advantages. A
poet's prose is, nonetheless, a
poet's way of looking at whatever
it is he is talking about and that,
it must be remembered, is a value
in itself. We have the advantage
of that particular angle of vision
and the knowledge too, that the
prose usually has something to
say to the poetry, whether direct-
ly or no.
This book unfortunately, is one
disappointment intimately bound
so to speak, to another: a badly-
made book containing pieces far
less well made than the poetry;
reminders that a good poet is not
by definition, a good critic, or a
good "philosopher," or a good
FIRST, THE BOOK. In it own
awkward and shoddy way, the
book undercuts whatever it is of
value we expect to hear from the
author by giving him a tinseled
and trembling platform.
I have purchased only two books
from the University of Washing-
ton Press, yet on this limited ex-

perience, I would recommend my
book-buying friends to other pub-
lishers. This publisher is under
severe limitations of imagination
and/or funding. Either that, or its
sense of value is extremely under-
The paper is low grade (al-
though thick enough to bulk the
book out to visually justify $4.00
for 154 small pages). Typography
is a far cry from the Shaker
aesthetic of Roethke's previous
publishers:-lines too long for
easy reading, printing impression
often either too heavy or too light,
headings decorative rather than
THE SLOPPY goldstamping on
the spine is capped top and bot-
tom by a gaudy pair of black and
white headbands and rather than
a solid binding of linen for a book
we should expect to keep and re-
read, we have cheap black cloth
that catches every speck of dust
and dirt and should fray in no
Finally, one would expect heavy
endsheets rather than thin-paper,
color-printed, endsheets; a heavy,
durable slipcover as opposed to
the tissue-paper that passes for
a slipcover.
This is not nit-picking. One
expects a good book, worthy of
its author. One could understand
such a book if it were the effort
of a group of eager students and

BUT FOR a university press to
allow, such treatment of a major
author is inexcusable, especially
with the knowledge that a large
audience awaited publication.
Perhaps-true to the American
maxim of the "fast buck"-design
and printing were with such
After his brief introduction, Mr.
Mills divides the book into four
sections-"Life and Work," "Craft
of Poetry," "Two Memoirs and
Two Extravagant Prose Pieces,"
and "Book Reviews"-eighteen
large pieces in all.
FOR ANYONE seriously inter-
ested in Theodore Roethke, all of
this book is good to have. Xerox-
ing from libraries is both expen-
sive and time consuming. But for
anyone either with a passing in-
terest, or reading this book as a
document of the prose of a great
American poet, only six pieces are
Three are good in themselves,
stand alone; the other three are
good for what they tell us of the
poetry of Roethke. I want to touch
upon a short essay in the "Life
and Work" section, then speak to
the six pieces I have noted.
Exactly how much prose (other
than the Notebooks) remains out-
'side this short collection, I have
no idea. I would suspect it mini-
mal for Mr. Mills to have included
in this first section, an essay from
Roethke's student days at the
University (portions of which were

published earlier this year in
YET CRITICS who build vast
critical systems of an author's
thought assure us that their often
crude early scraps are always im-
portant; important to show "de-
velopment," important to pin-
point themes or "germs" that the
author later nutured to works of
In Roethke's case, the college
essay is interesting, but not es-
sential to such a viewpoint. The
student of Roethke knows he de-
veloped late; that his first book
appeared when he was 33, but
that his major poems (the "in-
terior monologues" that first
realized the childhood experiences
of Saginaw and the Greenhouses)
"The Lost Son," were not pub-
lished until he was 40, his major
collection "Words for the Wind,"
until he was 50.
The essay is paralleled by one
written by that great American
critic, F. O. Matthiessen in his
days at Yale: both contain
"germs" of a sort, for the future.
But there the parallel ends.
MATTHIESSEN'S "credo" was
young and clumsey, full of un-
abashed passion. But it made a
marvelouspstatement-that the
searching mind he balanced by
the feeling heart-something Mat-
thiessen was to embody in every-
thing he wrote.
Roethke's shares the enthusi-
asm, but lacks the weight, is too
sophomoric and verges on bathos
("I have faith in myself.") It em-
barrasses in ways the poetry
would never.
The three essays that stand
alone ("The Teaching Poet," "How
to Write Like Somebody Else,"
"The Poetry of Louise Bogan")
are firmly and finely didactic.
ROETHKE WAS said to have
been a fine teacher of poetry,
something often done best by non-
practicing poets. In the essay,
Roethke shows his stuff, proves
his worth: he is sympathetic to
his students, energetic, sensitive.
He is honest: "Let's say no one
would claim to make poets. But
a good deal can be taught about
the craft of verse."
Roethke does not just analyze,
take apart; he breaks down only
to attempt the most difficult part
of writing-the putting together.
He tells how he reads aloud,
how he shows the student the oft-
neglected oral qualities of verse.
He gives his students good models;
uses imaginative "gimmicks" to
get the idea of poet as maker
AND HE IS HAPPY if a spark
will germinate: "A boy who has
memorized most of Eddie Guest
will appear with a poem, rough
maybe, but a real 'splinter of
"How to Write Like Somebody
Else," which first appeared in the
"Yale Review," attempts to an-
swer the glib critics who avoid
hard work by pinning on labels.
It speaks quite plainly to the
question of "influence," a ques-
tion that nlazumdRoeunthe wh

(which Mr. Mills fails to identify
as first given at the University as
a Hopwood Lecture) is just such
a treatment.
His. estimate of Miss Bogan's
work is a "transition" between the
two classes of essay I have noted.
In speaking about her poetry,
Roethke reveals much about his
own theory and practice of the
craft of poetry.
HE ADMIRES her craftsman-
ship, the "range" both emotional
and geographical, within carefully
defined limits.
Like Roethke, she writes the
lyric. And like Roethke, her lyrics
have a finality and compression of
the best of English poetry.
"Open Letter," "Some Remarks
on Rhythm," and "An American
Poet Introduces Himself," reveal,
in a totally unconscious, unaffect-
ed manner, the heart of Theodore
"OPEN LETTER," appeared first,
introducing the magnificent "ii-
terior monologues" in an anthol-
ogy in the early 50's, edited by
John Ciardi.
It speaks of the oral quality:
"Listen to them, for they are
written to be heard, with the
themes often coming alternately
as in music, and usually a partial
resolution at the end."
And it speaks of the enormous
conflicts in spirit the poet was
just beginning to engage in: "each
in a sense is a stage in a kind of
struggle out of the slime; part of
a slow spiritual progress; an ef-
fort to be born, and later, to be-
come something else."
was part of a BBC broadcast in
which Roethke introduced himself,
candidly, then read his poems. It
contains, for me, the most sig-
nificant remarks made about his
poetry; remarks that seem to di
vine its soul:
What the greenhouses them-
selves were to me I try to in-
dicate in my second book, "The
Lost Son." They were to me, I
realize now, both heaven and
hell, a kind of tropics created in
the savage climate of Michi-
Stanley Kunitz tells us Roethke
wrote out, by hand, thousands of
poems. He tries to suggest the
craftsman that Roethke was. One
has only to read the short piece,
"Some Remarks on Rhythm," to
realize Roethke's mastery of his
What do I like? Listen:
inx, minx, the old witch
The fat begins to fry!
There's nobody home but
Jumping Joan,
And father, and mother, and
Roethke likes these children's
rimes because they move, because
they are "catchy." Then he
shrewdly adds:
Now what makes that
"catchy," to use Mr. Frost's
word? For one thing, the
rhythm. Five stresses out of a
possible six in the first line ...
Motion. Compression. Drama.
These a the l ment nthe'


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