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May 21, 1922 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1922-05-21

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SUNDAY MAGAZINE
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN, SUNDAY, MAY 21, 1922

REMINISCENCES
By Hamlin Garland

ceive a call (at our home in Ordway, With two hundred dollars in my little show of hunger as I could man-
South Dakota) from a visiting Metho- pocket and the audacity of ignorance age. It was my first real meal in six
dist clergyman named Bashford, a big, in my brain, I started for Boston to fit months, and as I was taking my leave
blond, smiling young fellow, who ex- myself for the teaching of literature about three o'clock I tried to thank
plained that he was born in Wiscon- and the Art of Oratory in some little him for it. "You are quite welconle,"
sin but had drifted East to complete Western college-I had no intention of he said, "Come out again." * * *
his education. "I am a pastor in a making a home in Massachusetts. I Later (in July as I recall it) the
church in Portland, Maine,". he said, had no dream of becoming a_ writer. Doctor said to me, "Mrs. Cross and my
"and am here on a vacation as a land- I found lodging in a hall bedroom little daughter are going to the coun-
seeker. Hearing you were Wisconsin on the south side of Boylston Place, try for the summer and if you'd like
people, I decided to have a- chat with and there for six months I starved to come and stay with me while they
you." and froze in a sunless, bleak cell. By are gone, you are welcome. You can
His friendliness and sympathetic heroic self denial I kept my expenses pay me when it is convenient."
understanding led me to confess that down to four dollars per week-ex- This offer fairly broke me down. I
I was not entirely content as a Da- cept when Edwin Booth was in town. could hardly find voice to thank him. It
kota land-owner. I confided to him During his season I was madly reck- saved my career for I was down to
thatI hoped to get back into the work less of my half dollars. Mainly I spent almost my last dollar and in despair
of teaching, and that I thought I had my days in the Public Library just of remaining longer in Boston. He
a special bent toward the teaching of around the corner, for it was warm gave me a little, attic room on the
literature. Something in my story led and cheerful there: I had not suc- south side of the house, a true attic
Bashford to .say,,"Why don't you go ceeded in getting into the University chamber close to the sloping room.
East and study? Two or three years on any terms. I attended lectures but For four years I lived in that tiny
in Boston would be of the greatest they were' all on the outside of the room. In that room whose one win-
service to you." schools. * * dow over-looked an alley, I received
"I daren't risk it," I answered. "I Sometime during the spring Bash- my first inspiration to write of the
haven't money enough. I had expect- ford wrote me to say that a friend of West.
ed to sell my claim for enough to his, a Dr. H. B. Cross, of Jamaica One afternoon in November as I was
carry me back to Iowa or Wisconsin Plain, would like to have me call and sitting at my desk, I heard a man un-
where I could take a special course in tell him more about Dakota, and so, loading coal from a cart, and the ring-
some college, but all that is out oftbe one lovely Sabbath in May, I decided ing scrape of his scoop brought back
question. I can't sell my claim ex- to sacrifice a dime and make this call. to be in a rush of homesickness, the
cept at 'a sacrifice. I am afraid of the As I rode away to the South on a little memory of corn-husking on our Iowa
East. I can earn my living anywhere teetering yellow street-car, I felt like farm when, at sunset, I was called
in the West but the East appalls me." a man suddenly released from prison, upon to shovel the last load of corn
He sled bt t fas. " f and after leaving Roxbury Crossing, I into the crib. In the urge of this emo-
y He smiled at my fears. "You'll find found myself traversing winding fion I began to write a description of
1 friends there, as I did. I can help lanes between lovely lawns and flow- "A Western Corn-Husking," and this
e you get into a special course in'the ering orchards. It was a heavenly hour article which was accepted with a let-
- Boston University. I'll give you let-I for me, ter of praise by a New York editor,
ters to some of the professors there I found Dr. Cross living in a square started me on a series of articles de-
and you can work at something to pay frame house in a garden of pear and lineative of the life of a boy on an
n expenses. Many of the students do apple trees. He was a tall thin man Iowa farm.' Tlfese papers, some' of
s that." with beautiful dark eyes and a kindly which were paid for and some were.
h The outcome of this brief conver- smile. He told me afterward that he not, became the basis of "Boy Life on
I sation was an amazing adventure for was alarmed at my pallor. I think the Prairie."
. me. In less than two months I sold he suspected my need of food for he My fictional inspiration did not come
y my claim in Mac Pherson County, and invited me to ptay to dinner, an in- until two years later, when having
followed out Bashford's suggestion. vitation which I accepted with as (Continued on Page 7)

Hamlin- Garland
;whose famous stories and books of the)
frontier have just been published inf
library form by Harper & Brothers.1
The works included in this new "Middlef
Border Edition" are those on which
Mrs Garsnd's fame rest,
Editor's Note: Hamlin Garland i
notable in literature as one of the first
of the American realists. The Daily
has been able to secure this persona
account of his early struggles and ris(
to prominence, which will be of inter
est to readers of the Magazine.
In looking back over my life I ca.
see that my whole literary career wa
determined by a chance meeting witl
a stranger. Without that 'meeting7
might not have had a literary career
One Sunday afternoon, in 1884, m3
parents and I were surprised to re

The Poet Series--_5. Vachel Lindsay
(By Lois Elisabeth Whiteomb) porary poets seems secure enough. He creased in popularity, and he has be- With a silk umbrella and the handle
Vachel Lindsay, fifth and last in the is represented by six poems in Louis come famous as an entertainer of a of a broom,
series of poets who have come to Ann Untermeyer'sr discriminating antho- distinctive type. Boomlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM.
Arbor under the auspices of the Amer- logy, "Modern American Poetry," and "The Congo" is probably the best THEN I had religion, THEN I had
ican Association of University Women these six themselves are sufficient to known of all his verses. It 'is an in- a vision.
and Whimsies, will speak at 8 o'clock prove the significance of his compo- teresting study in negro psychology, I could not turn from their revel in
Wednesday evening, May 24, in Hill sitions .but it is chiefly memorable for the derision.
auditorium. Mr. Untermeyer speaks of Vachel scurious swinging speed of its meter THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEP-
There is probably no other figure in Lindsay's work as "an infectious blend and its rich play of vowels and con- . ING THROUGH THE BLACK,
contemporary American letters that is of rhymes, ragtime and religion." He sonants. The importance of the sound CUTTING THROUGH THE JUNGLE
so picturesquely interesting as Vachel says of the poems published in the is stressed by the notations in the WITH A GOLDEN TRACK."
Lindsay, the strolling poet. He fol- volume called "The Congo," that "They margin, "A deep rolling bass," "More There is a certain sweep to such
lows the ancient troubadour tradition, gave people (particularly when in- deliberate. Solemnly chanted." "Rather lines that carries the reader on, and
and roams about the country, making toned aloud) that primitive joy in syn- shrill and high." even the most visual-minded must be
his poems and singing them in true copated sound that is at the very base "The Congo" bears the sub-title "(A conscious of the insistent sound of the
minstrel fashion. The first of his long of song. In these experiments in Study of the Negro Race)." It begins: verses.
tramps took him through Florida, breaking down the barriers between "Fat black bucks in a wine-barrel Lindsay senses to the full the value
Georgia, and the Carolinas. Since poetry and music, Lindsay (obviously room of refrains in his work. Sometimes,
then he has mnade several more long infected by the echolalia of Poe's Barrel-house kings, with feet un- as in "The Congo" he introduces two
trips on foot, 'Bells') tried to create what he called stable, ' or three refrains. Again, as in "The
He is the one example of the mod- a 'Higher- Vaudeville' simagination, Sagged and reeled and pounded on Chinese Nightingale" he uses one re-
ern jongleur. At first his work was carrying the form back to the old the table, frain, with slight variations. He has
regarded by more conventional writers Greek precedent where every line was Pounded on the table, a trick, too, of repeating a line occa-
with something like the same sus- half-spoken, half-sung." Beat an empty barrel with the sionally as he. does in the following
picion that medieval men of learning That these experiments have proved handle of a broom, fragment from "The Chinese Nightin-
felt for such entertainers, but now successful is -obvious from the fact Hard as they were able, gale."
Vachel Lindsay's place among contem- that Lindsay's work has continually in- Boom, boom, BOOM. I, (Continued on Page 8)

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