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October 08, 1974 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1974-10-08

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I

Pablo

Neruda,

Eighty-four years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

One year

later

\ I

Tuesday, October 8, 1974

News Phone: 764-0552

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mi. 48104

I
/

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'10 SOLVE 14E ECONOMIC
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Editor's Note: Pablo Neruda
was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes
Basoalto in a small community
in the south of Chile in 1904. His
early fame as a poet afforded
him a position in the national
consular core, which during the
1920's and 1930's took him to
Rangoon, Calcutta, Buenos
Aires, Barcelona and Paris.
Throughout his life he was ac-
tive in publishing, academic and
political affairs in addition to
his "ofico" as a poet. Among
the many awards and prizes
presented to him are the Stalin
(now Lenin) Peace Prize in 1953
and the Nobel Prize for Liter-
ature in 1971. In September of
last year in Santiago the poet
died.
* * *
By BILL KATRA
JUST A YEAR ago we read
with stupor of the tragic
events in Chlie, the violent mili-
tary takeover of the legitimate
government accompanied by the
murder of various key person-
ages in that government, in-
cluding President Salvador Al-
lende. Some twelve days later
it was announced that in that
treason-torn capital the world-
famous Pablo Neruda had died.
For many of us the deaths of
these two men were intimately
related, for the president poli-
tician and the poet of the peo-
ple were close personal friends
and brothers in the political
struggle. Few people could be-
lieve that the Socialist president
had died by his own hand as
the official bulletins announced.
Few also, who knew of the life
and works of Neruda, could
accept that the moment of his
death was entirely fortuitous
and without relation to the con-
current historical events. Con-
cerning the death of the poet
my office-mate appropriately
wrote, initating on a lower key
some well-known lines of the
Cuban poet-patriot Jose Marti,
Dicen que se murio de cancer
Yo se kue se murio de asco.
They say that he died of
cancer
I know that he died of digst.
In September of 1973, when
blood flowed through the streets
of Santiago, poetry's breath was
cut short.
YEARS BEFORE Salvador
Allende had come to the atten-
tion of the world, Neruda had
been acclaimed as one of the
greatest poets of our century.
His versus have always had a
great impact on me, touching
that sensitive core which reacts
to beauty, causing me to over-
flow with feelings that I want
to share with others.
It is a poetry to be enjoyed,
lived beside and within, a poe-
try of everyday things and com-
mon human sentiments. Neruda
himself has described it as "im-
pure" because it refuses to be
presumptuous by standing above
the "impurity of the human cn-
dition". "Those who shun the
'bad taste' of things, he de-
creed, will fall on th.ir face in
the snow."
NERUDA made a fresh im-
pact on me this summer when I
saw, anxiously bought and iater
consumed from cover to cover,
his posthumously published me-
moirs. I had known that little
after his death his houses in

Valparaiso and in Santiago had
been sacked and all documents
supposedly had been destroyed.
Therefore the appearance of the
work caused me no smll joy
and surprise. (Apparendy with
foresight he had sent copies out-
side of the country only a few
days before his death; the last
chapter treats the events of the
Allende overthrow.) The title of
the work immediately strucx my
imagination for its perplexing
but in the end revealing words,
Confieso que he vivido
I confess that I have lived.
My immediate reaction to the
title was as would say ai relish-
er of good things, joining his
hands in front of nis satisfied
digestive system after having
consumed an especially well-
prepared meal. Not in a pejora-
tive sense: Neruda was known
to me first as a lover of hfe
in the fullest way, and in a
manner that was never at the
expense of the other man. In
fact, that is, what I like best of
him: he was able to combine a
positive, vigorous spirit with - a
life-long commitment in the poli-
tical realm. Politics is generally
an activity for serious-faced in-
dividuals, but Neruda -seems to
me to be the type of person who
never lost his ability to laugh
deeply and genuinely, to apprec-
iate the beauty of springtime or
the tenderness of a chill.
IN THAT sense, he has always
been for me the prototype of the
New Socialist Man that Latin
America has been laboring to
give birth to in the last few
decades: not with the cold-steel
"love" of the revolutionary, as
in the case of El Che (althouth
who knods, that type of "love",
too, might sometimes be neces-
sarv), but that of a father oho,
while communicating his Jast
moral code to his children, en-
comnasses them with te warm-
th of his sincere affection.
I gness what I am trying to
sav is simply that although my
image of the man is insepar-
able from his political se'ng, he
was always and foremost a
poet. To me this means that he
was able to capture in words
the affective essence of the oi-
verse human experiences ie had
lived. All of us can identify
with what he felt when he wrte
his Twenty Love Poems and a
Despairing Song, unsurpassed
lines for the intensity w i t h
which he communica-es his
youthful erotic emotions. He
loved nature. The rain ("the
sole unforgetable personage" of
his infancy), the Chilean forest,
the incommunicable sound of the
ocean that he first knew at Val-
paraiso, and later at nis house
on the Isla Negra in southern
Chile, populate his verses. Nr-
uda also had a deep apprecia-
tion for common, ordinary
things. In one period of his life
he set himself to writing odes
to the every-day objects and
substances which surraund us
and which we too easily take
for granted. "Ode to Air", "Ode
to the Onion", "Ode to Wood,"
and "Ode to Barbed Wire", are
a few examples. And as all real
poets must, Neruda loved
words: "I prostrate myself be-
fore them, I love them, I em-
brace them, I pursue tain, I
bite them, I spill them. . . I
love words so much .'.

I PICTURED the poet there-
fore, coming upon an appro-
priate title for the story of his
life, "Confiesco que he vivido",
meaning that he had given him-
self over enthusiastically and
had fulfilled the demands of his
situation at every stage. Ile had
resolved early to commit him-
self to sing of nature and erotic
love, to praise the simple tings
of the universe, and to enter in-
to the political struggle. He had
refused at every turn in the
road an existence without sub-
stance or direction, that of "the
little death of each day".
Instead, he had chosen to Em-
brace a multifaceted life un-
hesitatingly and without regret.
This was my immediate inter-
pretation of the tite of his
memoirs. I accounted for those
words in a way that unified the
poetic calling he must have felt
at all stages of his life: to inter-
pret for mankind ail concrete
and potenital experiences.
BUT UPON reflection I be-
came convinced that my inter-
pretation was only partlly cr-
rect. Neruda's life and poetic
work took an abrupt change of
course around the years 1935-40
with the events of ┬▒he Spanish
Civil War. He identified strongly
with the ideological struggle and
participated wholeheartedly for
the cause of the Republicans.
Their military defeat, the ensu-
ing horrors of the Facist re-
gime, and the murders of two
intimate friends, Federico Gar-
cia Lorca and Miguel Hernan-
dez, all caused him a radical
change in consciousness and the
development of an entirely new
conception of his mission as poet
and man in socierv. He rejects
then the melancholic sub)ec-
tivism of his early erd-z verses
and the dolorous pathos of his
famous Residencos on Earth in
favor of a poetry, i his works,
"in the road of humanism, with
profound roots in the aspera-
tions of the human beina."
In his manumental poem
"Heights of Macchu Picchu", he
sets forth his resolve to take
uon himself the burdens of the
exploited classes of mankind
and to fight, through his verses,
the injustices they suffer:
Ascend to be reborn with me,
my brother.
Givedme your hand from the
depths
of your disseminated pain .. -
Show me your blood and your
furrow,
tell me: here I vas punished,
because the jewel did not
shine or the earth
did not yield in time its gem-
stone or its grain;
Point out to me the stone over
which you fell
and the timber they used to
crucify you .. .
I come to speak for your
stilled tongue.
I THEN remembered anthber
poem written in the same per-
iod, "Voy a Vivir", "I am
going to Live". We of the Span-
ish department had selected it
a year ago as the opening for
our session commemorating the
poet upon his death. It title and
message, it occurred to me,
suggest a second meaning to
the words, "Confieso qu he
vivido":
I am not going to die. I go out

TH MIWE. jRNI
C'uborhsr-Ha s ss uing197s
Congress cuts purse strings

LAST WEDNESDAY, the Senate re-
jected a $2.5 billion foreign aid
authorization bill. It was returned to
the Senate Foreign Relations Com-
mittee for further study by a narrow
two vote margin. The surprising
thing is that the debate did not rage
over the amount of the money in-
volved - which in itself seems ex-
cessive - but rather certain amend-
ments attached to the bill.
These amendments represent ef-
forts by Congress to exert its consti-
tutional control over the Administra-
tion's gross mismanagement of Amer-
ican foreign policy. Since Congress
appropriates the money for American
giveaways to foreign governments
and for the covert operations of the
CIA, it is Congress' responsibility to
insure that it is spent in the proper
way and without waste. These amend-
ments are in response to what Sena-
tor Humphrey (D-Minn.) correctly
calls "a sorry lack of planning on the
whole policy of foreign assistance."
THE FIRST AMENDMENT is intend-
ed to cut off military aid to Tur-
key because of its use of American
equipment when invading Cyprus.
This would merely enforce existing
U. S. foreign aid laws which require
curtailment to countries which use
American arms for aggressive pur-
poses.
The important point is that these
American weapons are given away
free of charge, on loans which every-
one knows will not be repaid, or at
Sports Staff
MARC FELDMAN
Sports Editor
GEORGE HASTINGS
Executive Sports Editor
ROGER ROSSITER ,.... Managing Sports Editor
JOHN KAHLER ........ Associate Sports Editor
Editorial Staff
DANIEL BIDDLE
Editor-in-Chief
JUDY RUSKIN and REBECCA WARNER
Managing Editors
KENNETH FINK. .. ................. Arts Editor
MARNIE HEYN ............Editorial Director
SUE STEPHENSON ............. Feature Editor
CINDY HILL .....Executive Director
STAFF WRITERS: Prakash Aswani, Gordon At-
cheson, Laura Berman, Barb Cornell, Jeff Day.
Della DiPietro, William Heenan, Steve Hersh,
Jack Krost, Andrea Lilly, Mary Long, Jeff Lux-
en berg, Josephine Maircotty, Beth Nissen, Cheryl
Pilate, Sara Rimer, Stephen 6elbst, Jeff Soren-
son, Paul Terwilliger.
Fhotogra pdhy Staff
KAREN KASMAUSKI
Chief Photographer
KEN' FINK
Picture Editor
STUART HOLLANDER .......Staff Photographer
STEVE KAGAN ............ Staff Photographer
PAULINE LUBENS....... Staff Photographer
Business Staff

bargain basement prices, the subsi-
dized courtesy of American taxpayers.
The taxpayer should not have to fi-
nance the aggressive and repressive
whims of foreign governments. Con-
gress should see to it that existing
foreign aid laws are enforced.
The second amendment requires
that CIA covert operations be under-
taken only after a report to Congress
and solely for national defense pur-
poses.
11OW EFFECTIVE this measure will
be is open to question.. The ex-
cuse of "national defense" and "se-
curity" has been given many times in
the past for actions that weren't even
distantly related to those areas.
Hopefully, Congress will not rubber-
stamp all operations simply because
some CIA operative labels it as neces-
sary for "national defense". Consid-
ering past events, the CIA has shown
itself to have a very warped view of
what constitutes "national security".
Needless to say, these two amend-
ments were strongly oposed by the
Ford administration. The executive
branch has always desired to manip-
ulate and play politics with foreign
nolicy. It resents this intrusion by
Congress into what it considers its
private domain,
There is a long road ahead. These
are simply amendments to the for-
eign aid bill. They may be deleted
back in committee, killed on the Sen-
ate floor, or watered down so much
as to be meaningless. President Ford
also has the option of vetoing the
whole bill and sending it back.
]TIOPEFULLY, HOWEVER, Congress
will stand firm. If this foreign
aid bill is so passionately desired and
desperately needed by the Adminis-
tration, they will have to take it with
conditions attached.
The day of the Congressionallv-ap-
proved "free hand" and "blank
check" for the Administration's for-
eign policy appears to be over. Con-
gress has finally awakened to the ex-
cesses of the executive branch: the
checks have become enormous and
the hand has been caught, stained
red with the blood of subversion.
-STEVE STOJIC
Oops!
IN LAST SATURDAY'S Daily article
"AA threatens student rights",
the statement "With the spectre of
the 18-year-old citizen looming in
1972, city Democrats and Republi-
cans redrew ward boundaries, con-
centrating students in the present
Second Ward" is incorrect. Rather,
the Human Rights Party, and the
Democrats redrew the ward. The

now
in this day full of volcanoes
towards the mul'itude,
towards life.
Here I leave these things all
attended to
now that "pistoleros" roam'
with "Western Custure ' crad-
led in their arms,
with hands that murder in
Spain
and gallows that twist in
Athens,
and the dishonor that goveins
in Chile
and I count no mere.
Here I stay
with words and peoples and
roads
that await me a .g3, and that
knock
at my door with hands liae
constellations.
HE PROCLAIMS a new poetPc
purpose of going forth and em-
bracing the cause of th com-
mon man. At times this would
demand a poetry (f "fire rd
smoke" and to go amidst one's
enemies - be trey the facists
of Spain, the goons hired to
break the strikes of the sal',petre
mine workers in Northern Chile,
or the military forces of the
national oligarchy who are paid
by foreign econo nic interests.
At other moments, however, it
would mean to search for the
"profound weave" uniting men
in society and with Nature,
... that is my trade,
to know one life
is not enough
nor to know all the lives .. .
This newly resolved cetiz
mission demanded a different
style of poetry, one tnat coud
be understood by all. A poetry
of the immediate exp.-lence: a
poetry with the foremost goal
of communication,
useful and usable
like metal and "ereai
that waits for the plowshare
tools for the hand.
PERHAPS ONE of the great-
est accomplishments of Naruda

is that he creates an "engaged"
poetry, without any loss of ar-
tistic quality. His is an esthe-
tic expression which c in be as-
similiated and enjoyed by "el
hombre sencillo", who does not
belong to the cultural elite. He
desired a poetry which would be
transparent-with nothing com-
plicated - as he envisioned the
daily process of living in itself.
His ideal was a literature "worn
with the hand's obligations, as
by acids, steped in sweat and
in smoke, smelling of lilies and
urine, spattered diversely by
the trades that we live by, in-
side the law or beyond it." A
poetry that would not fear to go
where men and men's thoughts
penetrate: the simple joys of
bread and wine, or dispoied, if
necessary,
to fight shoulder to shoulder
and to fall tothe earth
copiously bleeding.
TO LIVE then, meant for
Neruda to enter comple-ely into
man's social experience: to
know intimately, and then sing
its song, the joys and sufferings
of the people.
I desire
that all live
in my life
and sing in my song,
I have no importance,
I have no time for personal
matters
I cannot without life live
without mankind be a man .
Give me for my life
all the lives
give me all the suffering
of all people of the wrld
I am going to transform it
into hope.
"Confieso que he vi;ido' are
appropriate words cnosen by ihe
poet himsef to sum up a life-
long commitment to the sacial
cause. In them he admits that
he has been faithful and con-
stant in the course he had set
out for himself in 'his "Heights
of Macchu Picchu" aad "I am
Going to Live". Neruda did live,
and for so many he still does.

A0'o

IN RESPONSE to the grow-
ing distrust of the American
people in the ability of govern-
mental economists and so-called
"experts" to either explain or
reverse the worsening economic
situation, a nationwide Ad Hoc
Committee has been formed to
conduct teach-ins throughout
the country providing an alter-
native to the Washington "char-
ade". As part of this nationwide
effort, the Ann Arbor chapter
of the Union for Radical Politi-
cal Economics has organized a
panel discussion (co-sponsored
by Economics 691) to be h a I d
on Wednesday, October 9, at
8:00 p.m. in Angell Auditorium
B on the University of Michi-
gan Campus as the first step in
providing a real understanding
of the roots of the current crisis.
The objective is to establish
a local base for ongoing discus-
sion, analysis, and action relat-
ing to the developing crisis, in
conjunction with similar groups
throughout the country. In ad-
dition it will provide an infor-
mation and resource base for
other progressive movements
and orgnnizations to help them
deel with concrete decisions
they will be faced with as cor-
norations attempt to avoid the
conseo'llees of what thev have

Committee for National Teach-
ins.
AMERICANS are daily faced
witth higher prices, more unem-
ployment, worse housing, a n d
growing economic insecurity.
iPresident Ford has brought to-
gether for his "economic sum-
mit conference" a group of
economists who are incapable of
dealing with economic crisis.
The inadequacy of Keynesian
theories is becoming increasing-
ly clear. As the summit ap-
proaches, more of those "ex-
perts" are themselves admitting
the futility of their proposed
pragmatic adjustments in gov-
ernment expenditures, taxes, or
the interest rate as ways of
dealing with the current crisis.
This parade of expertise serv-
es only to cover up a -ontinued
direct assault on the living stan-
dards of American workers in
general; women workers, black
people and other minority
groups in particular; and stu-
dents and the middle class. in-
creased unemployment, massive
cutbacks in social services, and
several years of rising prices
are being considered by the Ad-
ministration and their experts.
Working people may appear to
he ,.P.re a d at h sum-

differ on particular details, they
are unified in trying to effect or
legitimize the sacrifice of the
American people in the interests
of the continuing corporate pur-
suit of profits. Amid all the talk
of "belt tightening" and "un-
precedented sacrifices" for the
people, great attention is being
paid to continuing the reccrd
high profits of giant corporations
and securing for them ever
more favorable conditions for
investment.
We are therefore calling for
immediate National Teach-Ins
on the Economic Crisis of Mono-
poly Capitalism. We urge stu-
dents and faculty oa:ce again
to organize teach-ins on the
campuses, this time t~o investi-
gate the truth about the current
economic crisis.
Andmthe lessons of the war
in Vietnam should helo guide
the investigation and activities
relating to the current econo-ic
crisis. The 'experts" in govern-
ment, labor, and business began
in 1965 by telling us that the war
was only a technical problem,
best left to those like themselv-
es who "understood." Then they
said that the war 'vas an io-
lated situation, a m i s e, a
flake, a result of incompetent
miscalculation. We learned oth-
__;o W nn ntrl nn c -.

nationally and domestically.
U.S. operations in such Ioun-
tries as Brazil, Chile, Greece
and South Africa help to sup-
press workers, to keen wages
and working conditions at low
levels, and to boost prolits.
Those international activities al-
so put pressure on American'
working people to accept lower
wages and poorer working con-
ditions. At home, the Watergate
investigations have provided.
striking new evidence that giant
monopoly corporations like ITT
and the milk and oil industries
exercise tremendous political
power domestically, building
upon their massive economic
strength.
We are being told tnoat rising
unemployment, inflaeon and
falling real wages ate isvlated
problems. They are supposedly
a matter of technical aajust-
ments for experts, a fluke of
weather conditions, a result of
Arab intransigence, a result of
past economic mismanagement

. . . but that there is light at
the end of the tunnel if only we
stick together.
WE WHO have signed this
statement say that Jll of these
"explanations" direct our at-
tention away from the funda-
mental character of the current
economic crisis. There is a
range of opinion among us about
specifics, but we are united in
our agreement that any serious
study and action addressing the
current economic crisis must be-
gin from a recognition of the
basic instabilities of the capi-
talistic economic system.
In short, the current crisis
cannot be solved by "band-aid
liberalism" - by tinke-ing with
the economy or reducing the
living standards of the Ameri-
can people. The solution to the
current crisis requires a funda-
mental restructuring of our
economic system - an end to
monopoly capitalism.
-ANN ARBOR URPE
COLLECTIVE

.4"":""* . .r .:::."::h"3 ... -...... . i. ..... ~., ;r-^}b b
Contact your reps-
Sen. Phillip Hart (Dem), Rm 253, Old Senate Bldg., Capitol
lill, Washington, D.C. 20515.
c - st. . -1.92_ ri. r.. C M m.faVA Ati

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