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January 18, 1947 - Image 2

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1947-01-18

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Page Two

PERSPECTIVES

Perspectives
EDITOR. Margery Wald
AssocTAT EDITORS Doris Cohen, Cid Corman, Russ LaDue
LTER"RY STAFF Stan Bradshaw, Joan Lochner, June Friedenberg,
Dave Stewart, Harry Moses
MANAGING EDITORS Don Curto, June Miller
SOPHOMORE STA . . Marge Granse, Norma Levy, Henry Schmer
ADVISORY BOARD Arno L. Bader, Morris Greenhut, Allan Seager
EDITORIAL what he does with that subject that
concerns us; here, we feel, is the only
THE LAST ISSUE of pespectives was legitimate basis for evaluation. There-
1 met witha volley o triticismcwhich fore itlac ism a de that the lat
was based mainly i' the type osubject Isu oft Sf g'.i s' n swasoverbalanceec
matter it contined. We were accused in the direction 0f what'is loosely called
of trying to be modern and sophisti- realism, we can only say that that was
cated; simply to be "smart." We were where our best aterial lay.
accused of assuming that "the modern When we look to see how an author
school or schools of poetry were the only has handled his subject, we look to see
ones of worth or 'any validity and as- if he is expressing it in his own terms.
suming this, printed nothing that was Novelty in itself has no intrinsic value.
even slightly out of the hard new focus" But art expresses or mirrors the temper
We were faced with the belief "that of its time. We are looking for writing
there is almost as much opposition to that will express our age in its own
the moderns as there is support.' And terms; we do not want writing that
finally, we were pose many problems of simply adopts the worn-out, sterile
aesthetics, resting on the critics' con- forms of a past generation. With the
ceptions of the ends of art. We were appearance of ne' ideas and concepts,
told, for instance, that such figures as new art forms are necessary to express
"copper slugs" and "refuse the booze" them. We wan writers who talk in
"just don't seem poetic;" and that "a their and our'terms, who speak the lan-
poem should strike certain chords of a guage of their time, not using a diction
sort of universal sound in the mind, but no longer capable of catching the tone
not jab the consciousness with figura- of our own age if this is what people
tive ice-picks, nor brain it with bru- mean when they accuse us of trying to
tality." In view of this sort of criticism, be modern, we frankly admit our guilt;
we feel that there is a certain value in but we think it is not a crime, but the
clarifying our position as the position of goal of any literature It is this that we
any literary magazine, and in trying to are looking for, and when we find ideas
answer some of the main objections by well presented in the artist's own terms,
pointing out our goals,ae will print th Is
Wedo not p etend, however, that the
In the first place, we want to reaffirm last issue was completely representative
here that we adhere as a unit to no one of all the elements present in the mod-
aesthetic school or tradition. There are ern temper or in modern writing. if
as many diverse views represented by what we printed last time is labelled
the staff as there ae members on it. "modern," and if there is much being
We do not, therefore, judge manuscripts written in opposition to it, we will as
on a basis of how well we like or agree certainly publish that as we did this.
with the subject matter. It is not the We welcome opposition and are eager
subject that an author writes about but to print anything that is expressedwell
I Shall Remember
I shall remember when the great monster time
noses us forward into autumn twenty years later
how you were slim under the catalpa
how tentlike the catalpa was with you beneath it
i wanted to cry darling Darling DARLING
with the fierce crescendo of the first utterance
but a blue heron hung
haphazardly in the sky like a dream of a blue heron
and you were walking down the road holding
the snapdragon
and the purple aster, walking through my nerves
holding the yellow snapdragon, into my joyplacesi
-Harold V. WVitt
For This They Departed
For this they departed, that my heights were haunted
mountainous and treacherous, for this they said:
you are the young land and the crude land
we'll never come back until you're dead,
your meadows brought down to us, your fierce
rocks rounded
leveled and laid low and in gentler season

for this they left me and returned no more
for this they forsook me, one by one
so now only the sound of great trees falling
the crash of mountain over the crush of stone
shudders the silence in my dying country
forsaken, and wind-grieved, and forlorn
-Harold V. Witt

WINDSHAPE
I.
I do love Francesca's soul, surrendering all mind,
As I live an evening with a wounded sky,
Stained where it broods on some remote and
spacious hurt
Rose-guazy -orbidezza, stricken into cloudy blaze:
When every shape of earth
Throbs with sympathetic fire or sinks profound
In shadows, till the world withdraws itself,
Blown meekly round the poles, grows sudden
And terrifically night, dissolves all shapes.
Quietly, fatally I love Francesca so;
Past thought, beyond love even, inside a realm
Of symbols where all shapes sink down in mystery,
Convulse, and reappear transfigured
On the broken shell of Form,
Fixed in sublime repose and glistening
In the wind that marks its proper passage
And all things'.
Soul of Francesca!
Who I read in hell's fraternity of souls
That, when they stumbled earthlings, boasted
Gentle hearts that learned too much of love,
Too well-and died of it .
Have I read you also
Slave and prisoner to that hot, demonic wind
Issuing fitful as a madman's breath from
Who knows what corrupted and eternal lung.
Deny, negate, my Love! - as all my wicks burn low,
And stirs no proof of creatures in the world,
When the threatening fiend whistles his bleak passage
Under, through the bony caverns where
The shapes of all past things lie festering--
Destroy my senses of life and of you bound in hell:
But come as one who steals upon a sleeper with a f an
In one cool hand, and in the other spindly sheaves
Of opiate corn wherewith to cool his brain
And sink him further into sleep, that he may wake once-
That once without thought-to windy, shapeless death!
IL
Halting in a desert mine, to press their brows
Into its crusted, weeping walls, two diggers sight
At once beyond them, living in the shadows,
A curious rock of crystals, malachite
Or nitid marble. Impatient of its form,
This wonder heaves its longing, like a breast,
For freedom, is nostalgic for the warm
Black wind of heaven, trembles, and is not at rest.
A quick desire, livid as a brand,
Seals up the miners' eyes, enchants them on
To frantically destroy; so, pick in hand,
They hack first at the rock, and then--foregone
Deceit, and formal, on each other's part-
Each hacks the other till no more unfolds
His dirty, living shape, whose mangled heart
Is littler than a crushed stone, and as cold.
The rocky, wondrous, crystal agony
These two dead ran to was my Love,
Whose image, blown here windily,
Lay deathly mocking and eluding me;
Now, scattered as this saone, eludes me still.
Yet, I know that in the depth of any well

I choose (and need I choose?) would be her face
Turned to me skyward, yearning out of hell;
And in the muted tongue of any bell
Her voiceless cry, and in the sea her tears.
Francesca! whose dust my hunger tastes,
Whose broken love is planted by the wind!
-Richard Koppitch

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