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January 26, 1982 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1982-01-26

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', A Y

OPINION

Page 4

Tuesday, January 26, 1982-

The Michigan Daily

Ypsilanti's 90-year-old poet

{

He was born "back in '91." It's a
jarring when you first hear him say it.
makes him 90 years old; 91 on August 12.
Let me make this pledge to her
who will not wear a coat offur:
Wose every thought is clear and kind
and'bears no cruelty in her mind.

little
That,

Howard
Witt
My credo is fur-bearing seals to spare
nor shall Iin their slaughter share,
But hunters of that precious fur
I shall make efforts to deter.
That also makes him one year older than Ar-
chjibald MacLeish, the man who immediately
jumps to mind when you think of very old
Anerican poets still plying their trade.
And while Paul : Hubbell is not nearly so
famous-to buy some of his poetry you have to
be down the block or at the grocery store or in
front of the church when he happens to be stan-
ding there peddling it-he is certainly as sin-
cere. And nearly as prolific.
For those who fight no more
the message comes across clear.

"No longer send the youth to war,
you aged men, too old for battle,
Whose dreams of glory passed yester eve,
when once the field you won."
Paul Hubbell. Football player, Rhodes
scholar, world traveler, World War I soldier,
high school teacher, college professor. And sin-
ce about 1975, poet-in-residence on Grant Street
in Ypsilanti. You can do a lot in 90 years.
It's difficult to really comprehend just how
long that is. Hubbell came to Ypsilanti in 1923,
to teach modern European history at Eastern
Michigan University. As a young man, he in-
terviewed a soldier who served under
Stonewall Jackson. He retired two years before
I was born.
Yet despite his age, the man simply refuses
to fit any of the popular stereotypes about the
elderly. Oh sure, he's not nearly as strong as he
once was, and his voice falters in labored
breaths, and the arthritis in his right knee
makes it hard to get around sometimes. His
blue eyes tare rheumy and his thick hair is
white.
The atoms to Democritus
did not mean what they do to us;
He thought they held the earth together
for Greece's scientific part,
We have no doubt whatever;
our scientists are far too smart,
For with atoms now they know
how to blow the world apart.
.But damned if he doesn't read six

"I've written about almost everything you
could mention, I reckon. The problem of
racism, abortion-I'm in favor of abortion. And
about-oh, it sounds kind of ridiculous, I
reckon-but the stars. My barber used to say I
was a romantic."
You can still hear a little of the South in his
words, the South where he moved around as a
boy with his father, a Baptist preacher. His
wife died some 15 years ago; he lives alone with
his only daughter in a small white house just a
few minutes from the EMU campus. The living
room where he works is overfull with books and
papers and shoes and plants.
"Why is it that I'm so liberal?" he repeats
my question. "I reckon it's sort of a broadmin-
dedness. I was always tolerant of people. I
lived in a lot of places; went to military school
for a year; taught at different schools; went to
Egypt with the YMCA to work with the troops
during World War I, before I enteted the ar-
my"
To the Salvadorans:
Fight on forfreedom lost
though life be the bitter cost!
Bread and peace you most need
to hate and hunger pay no heed!
Oppressors shall be overthrown
until the land the people own.
Rich and proud enemies,
helped by foreign subsidies,
Strike hard with desperate blows-
win vic ory from the fqrmers'foes!
Five decades dictators failed to see
they cannot crush the instinct to be
free!

aureate
Hubbell started dabbling in poetry during the
Vietnam War, when he worked with. several
anti-war groups. Encouraged by friends and
neighbors, he submitted a few poems to local
newspapers and neighborhood circulars
But that was about as far as he could get-no
major publishers were interested in his work.
While new poems I can write
with small effort day or night,
That does not bring me wealth or fame
and I remain an unknown name.
So the Grant Street Poet, with a few hundred
dollars from his pension and Social Security in-
come, published his own book of poetry in 1975.
At $1.50 a book, he sold all 500 copies.
He's produced a new book every fall since
then, each with some 30 or 40 poems on nature,
emotions, politics-you name it and he's probab-
ly written a rhyming couplet on it.
Things have been getting tougher lately,
however. "I usually canvass the neighborhood
in late summer until I come out about even.
Sometimes, I just give the books away,:
sometimes people give me a little more than I.
ask for. But last fall was harder. I doubt if I
sold mare than one house in ten, where I used to
get maybe four to six. Next year I won't order
so many, I think."
You can put me down for a copy,
anyway, Mr. Hubbell. You may not be as .
well known as Archibald MacLeish. and your
poetry is certainly a little rougher around the
edges. But I respect you for your effort.
And, besides, it's fun to read.
Witt's column apear's every Tuesday.

6

4

The Grant Street Poet

newspapers and various magazines to keep up
with the world every day. And write a few lines
of verse every morning. And worry about the
oppressed Guatemalans and Salvadorans and
women's rights and nuclear power. For Paul
Hubbell is about as liberal and enlightened as
they come.

Edited and managed by students at The University of Michigan

Wasserman
SIR,THELIA T
ECONJOI
ARE oujr

INFAgTION i5 VOWN
PERCEN4T

6
6

Vol. XCII, No. 95

420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Editorials represent a majority opinion of the Daily's Editorial Board

{^
,

France'

S

F RANCE'S DECISION to buy
natural gas from the Soviet Union
demonstrates that the countries of
Western Europe will not follow their
political rhetoric with political action.
Sunday's announcement of a French
agreement to buy 280 billion cubic feet
of gas per year from the Soviets makes
France the third West European coun-
try io sign such a contract with the
Russians. Italy and West Germany
have agreed already to buy gasfrom
the Soviets. Austria, Switzerland,
Belgium, and the Netherlands are all,
still negotiating for a similar contract.
I'he French, prior to this agreement,
had been Europe's strongest critics of
the crackdown in Poland. By-trading
with the Soviets, and thus refusing to
gb along with President Reagan's
economic sanctions, the French have
demonstrated that they are back to
"business as usual' with the Soviet
Union. With these actions, the French
are allowing the Soviets to enforce
their will without censure on a neigh-w
boring European nation.
French rhetoric against the Polish
ngirtial law had been severe before
Sunday's agreement. The French led
Western Europe in criticism of the
Palish government's crackdown,
which was undoubtedly. directed by
guidance from the Kremlin. The Fren-
ciwere not afraid, as were the West

Soviet gas
Germans, to bellow strong statements
of outrage. Now it seems as if they too
find the shadow of Soviet power too
threatening to oppose.
Such hesitation, however, on the part
of the Europeans is not completely
unreasonable. Their proximity to the
Soviet Union puts them within the
reach of immediate Russian political
and military influence. This influence
can only be minimized through a con-
solidated reaction to Soviet excesses,
such as those in Poland and
Afghanistan.
So far, West European action has
been anything but consolidated. The
West Germans have expressed the
most ambivalent approval of the
Reagan sanctions. NATO, as a whole,
claims that a statement on the san-
ctions is upcoming, but none has yet
been made.
If the Europeans are to expect the
Americans to lead the West in the
sphere of international relations, as
German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt
claimed they must, then they should
follow America with actions, not
words. American economic sanctions
cannot be fully effective without Allied
support.
With the French/Soviet gas deal
such concerted allied support has suf-
fered a serious setback.

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6

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LETTERS TO THE DAILY:
Ho w MSA stoppee

_

To the Daily:
Congratulations . to The
Michigan Daily for covering MSA
initiative concerning ,hazing. Un-
fortunately your Jan.:22 editorial
mistakes our activity for
procrastination.-Let me point your
misdirected finger at the hazing
issue and its respective facts.
The University of Michigan
faces the problem of hazing as do
many colleges and universities
across the nation. Disciplinary
action usually involves a Central
Judiciary Board that imposes
sanctions on students according
to a Code of Misconduct. Such
sanctions include expulsion and
suspension for a physically and
mentally destructive act such as
hazing. The University imposes
similar sanctions, yet only for
misconduct on academic grounds
and for intermittent cases of
gross non-academic violations.
What are those?
In the summer of 1979, an
ad hoc committee of the
University decided that hazing

incident involving the University
Hockey Team' prompted the
committee to step up their ac-
tion. After a year and 2 months of
transient membership, the com-
mittee delivered a definition of
hazing to be adopted by MSA on
Dec. 8, 1981. The committee's
aim was to ensure that the
University incorporated their wr-
itten policy and therefore raise
the consciousness necessary for
further action.
MSA defeated a motion to
ratify the committee's proposal
at their Dec. 8 meeting. On Dec.
9, MSA created its own ad hoc
committee to investigate possible
sanctions that each of the
University committee's "target"
groups could adopt. Again, the
Daily blames us for dragging our
feet, when in fact we were attem-
pting to create necessary enfor-
cement mechanisms for the
University policy.
MSA felt that the time delay
was important since an im-
mediate ratification might

d hazing
remedy. At the Jan. 12 MSA
meeting, members saw a
proposed list of MSA sanctions
that they were to comment and
vote upon the following week. On
Jan. 18, the ,hazing committee
agreed to push for the University
policy only if sanctions were
guaranteed by March 1. MSA
voted for this addendum and the
policy on Jan. 19. They also ap-
proved the MSA sanctions with
suggestions. The suggestions im-
plied further strengthening.,
The MSA committee
promotes all viable means of an-
ti-hazing enforcement. Uniquely,
the University does not own its
sorority and fraternity property
(as does Stanford the example
used by the Daily) so it cannot
expel entire "greekdoms",
responsible for hazing. The
committee can push for decen-
tralized sanction formulation in
the short-term. MSA is rallying
the forces of the BGA, Panhell,
IFC, the Athletic Department,

incidents
the Housing Department, and the
Student Office of Accounts and
Programming to produce a coor-
dinated and effective front again-
st hazing. Did you know that if
your group is caught hazing next
year that you might not gain ac-
cess to Michigan Advertizing
Works, MSA funds, or national
recognition?
In the long-term, the MSA
committee must weigh the ad-
-vantages of a University Council
with the power of punishment for
non-academic violations. Should
the students make such decisions
or should a faculty-dominant
. body decide? Finally, the most
formidable obstacle, is the peer
pressure and the drive for iden-
tity that precludes many victims
of hazing from coming forward.
-Amy Hartmann
Michigan Student
Assembly
Vice President
January 25

6
6

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