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April 23, 1922 - Image 1

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Mr. Untermeyer Talks--Some
Ilisabeth Whilcomb) An aristocrat of radicals. Accord-
"But that's not for publication," Mr. ing to his fourteen-year-old son Mr.
Untermeyer concluded hastily. "Now Untermeyer. is, however, merely a mild
let's ask me a few questions. 'Do you liberal. There was much to be said
believe in American poetry? 'Yes!' of son Richard (the "Dict' whom
said Mr. Untermeyer." readers of "These Times" will re-
He smiled quizzically. He has a member as co-author of six verses in
particularly delightful smile, swift and t Fothat volume).
frequent, with an extra upward lift of For one thing, Dick, cherished as a
the right corner of his mouth that promising young Bolshevik, recently
gives it a curious twisted charm, half gave his parents a shock of surprise
scornful and half whimsical, wholly by writing a play in blank verse, with
pleasing. Napoleon for hero!
"What do I think of the free verse When qtestioned as to his own in-
movement?" he went on. "Very much terest in drana Mr. Untermeyer said
the same thing that I think of the - that he was greatly interested in that
sonnet movement. The medium doesn't field, and had himself attempted some
matter. It's what you do with it dramatic writing.
Personally I prefer to use rime and "None of it has even been sent to
meter, just as I would prefer to work the publishers, I'm proud to say,"
in stone rather than in butter. It is be added. with a flashing smile.
the more resistant medium that most'
the soreres. tof editns hat ost(If is a brave man who has "the
appeals to me. The other is too soft. ot us the wa -p basket."
too fiabby. I like the challenge that courage of the waste-paper basket.")
a definite form offer. Mr. Untermeyer spoke admiringly of
But that does not mean that I do the work of Eugene O'Neill, especially
not like free vrse," he continued praising "Emperor Jones." In discuss-
quickly "Some beautiful things have ing various American poets he said
been done in it. And my wife writes that Robert Frost was his favorite,
free verse, you know. Nearly all of and that he considered E. A. Robinson
hei first volume was free verse. But t as next to Frost. It is interesting to
two or three years after its publica- note that Mr. Untermeyer's opinion
tion I made a dscovery-I don't know exactly coincides in this regard with
whether she likes it or not-that it t Padriac Colum's.
wasn't really free verse at all bit In answer to a question as to nis
blank verse arranged differently. I'm estimate of Edgar Lee Masters, Mr.
not sure that she agrees with me, but Untermeyer said frankly:
anyway her new book, "Dreams Out " t dr
of "lie has thse mind of a country
of Darkness," is only about ten per (octor who has read analytical psych-
cent free verse, and her Eve poem- ology too late in life to do him any
in many ways the finest and deepest tolt nlf od i n
thiny thatshe adoes n blns good. He is a diagnostician rather
thing that s e har eone-is in blank than an artist. The "Spoon River
vere Anthology" is a great book, but his
Thsees. w'a l later work is, like the first volumes
d your own work, Mr. Unter- he published, far below that level."
meyer? Are you ever going to write It was at this point that Mrs. Unter-
any prose fiction?" meyer came into the room. She is a
"No. No, I haven't any genius for gracious, friendly, youthful woman,
plot. I'm afraid I shall go on writing 4 with a great deal of quiet fascination
criticisms. And poetry. Of course in interesting contrast to her hus-
poetry is what I really enjoy doing." band's sparkling, rather nervous,
It seems that Mr. Untermeyer is chain . She seems cool, gentle, assur-
very versatile person. His early led; he is quick, imperative, impatient,
ambition was to become a composer, LOUIS U'N'IERMEYER and has a crackling humor that is a
and at sixteen he appeared as a pian- Drawn by Bethany Lovell from a photograph danger and a delight. One feels in
itt in semi-professional circles. The p both of them a sensitive intelligence
next year, however, he entered his ~ and a discriminating sympathy that is
father's jewelry manufacturing estab- work only forty-four hours a week. meyer is a radical, but Mr. Frost had good to meet. It is easy to understand
lishment, where he is now factory He commented that the plan worked this to say of him. how from such flint and steel two
manager and designer. He is quite well apparently, for the last time ,- "He's this kind of a radical--he'll such fires of poetry have been kindled.
as willing to talk jewelry 'shop' as there was a strike, his men did not let other people walk all over his Each is to some degree an explana-
poetry, and spoke with enthusiasm of go out. property but he won't take anybody tion of the other's high poetical
the arrangement whereby his men It has been said that Mr. Unter- else's." achievement.
"The Yellow Jacket"---A Chinese Play
Editor's Note: "The Yellow Jacket" "the sun-hued garment" of author- Enchantment and the rapture of a every nearly the manner of the Eng-
will be presented by Masques Satur- ity to which the hero, Wu Hoo Git, child. lish stage as it was in Shakespeare's
day evening, April 29, in Hill auditor- finally succeeds. The play was pre- To which I will add only the prose time. So that to the delight which the
in under the direction of Prof. J. sented by The Coburns at the Whit- comment that I have never seen, and play should give to every uncritical
Raleigh Nelson. ney Theatre, Ann Arbor, about five ' expect never to see, the play over- observer, there is added an interest for
years ago. praised. 1the student of English as well as of
Since its first presentation ten Something, however, needs to be Chinese drama.
(A Review by Prof. W. R. Humphreys) years ago, "The Yellow Jacket" has said to prepare a modern English As in Shakespeare's theatre, so in
"The Yellow Jacket" is a- Chinese received many tributes of praise, both speaking, and English reading audi- the modern Chinese theatre, there is an
play done in the Chinese manner by: in prose and verse. Here follow the ence for seeing the play to best ad- almost total absence of sceneur; or, in
George C. Hazelton and Benrimo-or, lines by Percy Mackaye, himself a vantage. It should be understood the words of Hazelton and Benrimo,
as he prefers not to sign himself, J. H. dramatist and poet, called "To the first of all that "The Yellow Jacket" "the scenery is as big as your imagi-
Benrimo. The latter, drawing upon an Poets": is not merely a play that presents nation." In neither case is the imag-
intimate acquaintance with the Chin- To these you have restored your heri- Chinese characters in a Chinese set- ination left quite wthout guidance, for
ese theatre, planned the story of the tage: ting, as several others have done. signs usually indicate the scene that
play with its action and stage busi- To humor-loveliness; to undefiled "The Yellow Jacket" is "done in the is to be imagined. The authors of
ness; Mr. Hazelton wrote the lines. Passion-its splendor; to our native Chinese manner." Now it happens "The Yellow Jacket," however, sub-
The Yellow Jacket of the title is stage !that the present Chinese manner is (Continued on Page 7)

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