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November 17, 1974 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1974-11-17

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Page Four


Sunday, November 17, 1974



The man behind 'OSU football:
He'll try anything just to win

The poetic voice of
an agonized nation

CHINE. By Robert V a r e..
New York: Harper's Maga-
zine Press, 240 pages, $7.95.
WOODY HAYES and Colum-
bh s, Ohio deserve each
other. He calls it the 'best god-
damn placeaon earth.' A noted
political scientist says, m o r e
specifically, that'no city of
comparable size in America is
as homogeneously middleclass.
If Woody Hayes often seems
Neanderthal, the city he rules
isn't far ahead. On the eve of
the Michigan-Ohio State game a
couple of years back, F r a n k
Zappa and his Mothers of In-
vention visited Columbus to give
a concert. After surveying the
frenzied pre-game madness

around him, a stoned Zappa
wondered, 'Like what can you
say when you're in Columbus,
Ohio, disguised as 1955?'
In that light this book w a s
potentially as much a study of
vintage middle America as it
was of "Coach Woody Hayes
and his Ohio State football ma-
chine." Sadly, it falls short on
both counts. Although by no
means a puff job, the book is
neither the incisive character
study, the tough hatchet job or
the telling expose that it might
have been. Rather it is an er-
ratic and fitfully organized col-
lection of colorful anecdotes, and
an ultimately ambivalent view
of its subject and his empire.
Robert Vare is a 29-year-old
freelance writer who came to
Columbus in the spring of 1973
to write a magazine piece on
Hayes, sidled unexpectedly in-
to his good graces and ended

up hanging out with him for six
months. One senses that Vare's
difficulty was too much close-
ness; he seems unable in the
end to separate Hayes t h e
captivating charmer from Hay-
es the autocratic and hypocrit-
ical power-wielder.

DECADES: POEMS 1925-1970,
translated by Ben Belitt; New
York: Grove Press, 425 pages,

rv turned tortuously in upon
itself, displaying resentment
and disgust' at every form of
city life, whose routine empti-
ness oppressed him as much in
Asia as it had in Santiago.

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Hayes is a more interest-
ing and complicated man than it
generally appears. For one
thing he reads voraciously and
quotes freely from such widely
divergent sources as Abraham ° ,
Lincoln, Darrell Royal, George
Patton, John Kennedy and the
Marine Corps Training Manual
(managing to make analogies
to football in each case.) Des-
pite his 24 years as Ohio State
coach, Hayes makes only $29,
400 a year, and has turned ness), respect, hard work and,
down raises at least twice. le men who are men.
lives modestly, is generous withl
friends and visits even peri- IRUT FOR ALL these lofty
pheral acquaintances who are in ideals, there is sometaing
the hospital. Woody likes . even more, and
And there is, of course, the that's winning. When it comes
legendary success: four nati'n- to Ohio State football, a n y -
al championships, nine Big Ten thing that contributes to a vic-
titles, four Rose Bowl vict pries. tory he considers 'moral. Ini
Moreover, Ohio State nearly al- Woody's Colmbus the end jus-
ways leads the nation in attend- tifies the means. For example,
ance and its football program //in 1970, a small sit-in to protest
grosses more than 3.5 million the war in Vietnam was beiten
dollars annually. Woody works back by tear gas, gunshot, mas-
year around, wakes up at 6:00 sive arrest (including innocent
a.m., leaves his office after dark bystanders) and indiscrimnlate
and. often keeps it up ;.even violence. Six months later,'
days a week. During the season when 10,000 Columbus citizens
he goes so far as to live in the and students rioted on the main,
dorm with his players. street for nine hours, the mayor
There, however, ends Wocdy was photographed smiling in
Hayes' good side; the rest is the middle of it all and few
thoroughly detestable. He is a were arrested. All this despite
Nixon Republican who believes scores of injuries resulting from
in staunch adherence to the flying bricks, widespread loot-
law. He hates protests and rad- ing, overturned cars and dam-
icalism, long hair, drugs, lack age totaling over $100,000. Ohio
of respect and, for the record, State had beaten Michigan that
women. ("I hear they're even day.
letting w o m e n in their sp )rts Woody proudly claims thiat
program now. That's your Wo- 85 per cent of all Ohio State
men's Liberation, boy - bunch players eventually get a degreet
of goddamn lesbians. You can (although he refuses to release'
bet your ass that if you have proof, and of 24 players from
women around - and I've V.'lk- Ohio State now on pro rosters,
ed to psychiatrists ab-ut this only five have degrees). But
you aren't gonna be worth a even given Hayes' statistics, the
damn. No sir. Man has to dom- fact is that players are encour-

PABLO NERUDA has been HIS WORLD outlook went to
called "the only living poet pieces and Neruda mirror-
who is admired wherever poetry ed its collapse in a meticulous
is read." This volume was to disintegration of traditional
have been a celebration of Ne- poetic forms. His poems be- whether the reader shares the
ruda's seventieth birthday; it came a series of seemingly ran- poet's view of mankind. The
contains one hundred and thir- dom metaphorical approxima- poems take on unique meaning
ty-eight poems taken from a tions to clear statement or- for each reader in terms of his
sequence of twenty-one books ganized into a studied sem- r e s p o n s e to his own per-
written between 1925 and 1970. blance of chaos around a cen- sonal experience.
But the volume instead became tral core of emotion. Some of, This may well be true for any
a posthumous tribute when Ne- this poetry (collected in this poem, but the extent to which
ruda died last year - shortly volume under the title "Resi- we identify with a poem is re-
after the Allende government, dences on Earth") is extremelyt stricted if the piece is explicit.
which had earlier appointed obscure, largely due to his use Neruda, though, works with
him ambassador to France, of private symbols under the ambiguities. He suggests rather
in storming illegally onto theI was overthrown by a military influence of the Surrealists. than expounds and he usually
football fields, punching o u t junta. The outbreak of the Spanish suggests any number of vary-
press people and cloying spec- Better than any attempt to ing lines of thought and feeling
tators, and indignantly protest- analyze Neruda's directions and U1 at a single time. He uses sev-
ing eachnand every loss. When emphasis in poetry are Neru- "Let the poetry we eral technical devices to ex-
he recruits, he unabashedly tells da's own words on lis writing. , ' press the full range of possi-
young Ohio country boys that He urged: "Let the poetry we search for be worn;, bilities. His poems barely begin
Ohio State has the best medi- search for be worn with the Neruda wrote, "With before.they move ito a web of
cal school, law school or busi- hand's obligations, as by acids, two-way syntax which creates
ness school in the country. You: steeped in sweat and in smoke, the hand's obligations, differing patterns of association
name it. (Apparently this trans- smelling of lilies and urinei around the imagery
parent chicanery didn't fool splattered diversely by the
Dennis Franklin. Woody recruit- trades we live by, inside the in sweat and in smoke, THIS FEATURE of Neruda's
law or beyond it."*.poetry is fascinating but
ed him heavily, and when he lWorbyodit"Smell ing of lilies and makes his work exceedingly
heard Dennis haddecided on "A poetry impure as t h e plattere d
'the school up north,' chucked a clothing we wear, or our bodies, urine,.splattered complex to translate. Anyone
film projector thirty feet across soup-stained, soiled with our dbattempting to translate his work
a room.) It isn't surprising thatI shameful behavior, our wrin-ht
Woody hates the press, con- kles and vigils and dreams, ob- trades we live by between the numerous levels of
vinced as he is that they are servations and,' prophecies, bymeaning. At times too, a word
out to get him, football and declarations of loathing and inside the law or will be abstract enough to ap-
America in that order. love. idylls and beasts, the Ibeyond it."pear unclear in English, and


shocks of encounter, political
THAT THIS book fails t) do loyalty, denials and doubts, af-
is to penetrate Noody firmations and taxes. Those
Hayes. How has he mana;id to who shun the 'bad taste' of
accumulate such power? Tor things will fall flat on the ice."
if Woody Hayes is the Nixon Neruda made his name' over
prototype he seems to be, te fifty years ago. Born in 1904 in
nation is deeply susceptible to the south of Chile, his very ear-
this kind of come-on. Rather liest poetry brought him swift;
than resolve the questians he success among his fellow stu-
raises in the first half 'if the dents in Santiago. These first
book, Vare wastes the last 100 poems were characterized by
pages recounting the Buckeye's the brilliant use of a close-knit
bD2 "nr hnr~lroIntiG f nture bohlism to

civil war in 1936, together with
the murder of Garcia Lorca,
shattered the mood of introspec-
tion which had influenced his
previous work. He had been a
somewhat romantic anarchist;
he now became a Communist
supporter. His first 'commit-
ted' poetry had a brutal direct-
ness and a strident note never
found in any former poetry.



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mate. Theres just no o t h e r
way.") What Woody likes is
obedience (r e a d: obsequious-
T h e cultivation, harvesting,
and smuggling of marijuana
on the North American Con-
at the

aged to take courses in physical
education, recreation and busi-
ness; they are steered away
from challenging or ideological
courses. It's the result - t h e
sheepskin - that counts. Who'
cares how you get it?

1973 season. Tne reader
wondering just what mak
inoos men like Woody
really tick.
Tony Schwartz is a fr
contributor /o the Sunday
a ZiIe.

i s LeftWeD U natur symU111
I~~~~~ In 1940 he wash appointed1iL'Ui Chi-V.
es o- define and analyze his person- In 1940 he wasappointed Chi-
al response to experience, lean consul - general in Mexi-
Ilayes Like other Latin American ' co and held the post for slight-
countrie5, Chile sometimes hon- iy over three years, during
ors her poets by giving them a which his reputation steadily
diplomatic post, and in 1927 Ne-' grew. His return to Chile was
ruda was sent as consul to Ran- an enormous triumph and he
euent goon. He spent the next five found himself acclaimed in city
vears in various consulates in after city by great numbers of
Southeast Asia and during this people for whom his poems
time a sense of isolation which seemed to voice the agonies and
had already marked his early hopes of all the Latm American
love poetry grew into a deso- peoples.
late bleakness under the pres-
sure of two alien cultures: that NERUDA MADE repeated use
of the native Asiastic peoples, of his major themes and
with whom he could make little images, in themselves a whole
j intellectual contact, and that of range of heightened meanings:
the European merchants and co- earth and sea, the cycle of the'
hionial administrators with seasons and the renewal of na-

& PA,



whom he had to deal. His poet-
If you are graduating
in December you must
o r d e r your CAP &
GOWN no later than
NOV. 19 at
IL --'-- -

ture; sexual love; irresistible
Death and the humiliating petty
deaths and the enervating qual-
ity of humdrum urban life; the
transience of the individual seen
against the expanse of time.
Most of all, there is the ex-
perience of chaos and the hun-
ger to find some principle of
order-the pointless surface of
existence and the desire to
break the isolation that sur-
rounds men.
The images are deeply dis-
turbing regardless of whether
or not Neruda as a man is un-
derstood by the reader or
- 1

thus some kind of very concrete
translation is necessary in or-
der to achieve an equivalent
impact. Another difficulty. is
that Neruda's poetry has a na-
tural setting w h o s e magnifi-
cence obliges a translator to
work close to what might well
be called hyperbole-a danger
translator Ben Belitt tries to
avoid by using sharp, taut im-
ages and phrasing whenever
He looks directly at modern
man's existence - urban 'men
wilt slowly away. Neruda looks
at their kind' of life as a wast-
ing "death in a black cup." He
compares this with the per-
manence of nature, of stone
"raised like a chalice."
Man is what matters because
"man is wider than all the
sea" and Neruda wants to com-
municate with all the men who
have died so that they may rise
again to birth-with him and
through him as brothers. It is
easy to see this as a sort of
futile retroactive "Workers of
the world unite!" But his plea
is timeless, and the Neruda who
summons on the dead, asking
them to show him the places of
their agony, is a noble figure,
who finds his ultimate fulfill-
ment in becoming the valid
voice of the dead-of the South
American dead in particular,
but in the last resort, of all
P WHAT REALLY matters to
Neruda is what his own life
has in common with the lives of
all men. There is also an ur-
gent need to show men to
themselves in such a manner
that they can sense the identity
behind their separate existences
and share his vision.
His ultimate intent is for all
mankind, but towards this end
he explores the most intimate
levels of human life. And it
seems that it is the force of
these personal discoveries that
remain with us regardless of
however public their purpose
might have been.
Mary long won a Iopwood
A ward for poetry last year.
and Goodtime Music

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