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May 21, 1922 - Image 1

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By Hamlin Garland
ceive a call (at our home in Ordway, With two hundres doilars 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 welcome,"
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 i home in Massachusetts. I Later (in July as I recall it) the
schurch 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 foe the summer ant it you'd tike
people, I decided to hae a chat with and there for six months I starved to come and stay with me while they
you." iand froze in a sunless, bleak cell. Ity 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- Tthis offer fairly broke e te down. I
I was not entirely content as a Da- Iicept when Edwin Booth was in town. coud hardly find voice to thank himt. It
kota land-owner. I confided to him During his season I was madly reek- s,ved my' career for I was down to
that I hoped to get back into t vork tea. ci sy hslt toltirs. taisiy I spent almost my last dollar and in despair
of teaching, and that I thought I lad my days in the Public Library just of remaining longer in Boston. He
la special bent toward the teaching of around the corner, for it was warm gave use a little attic room on the
literature. Something in my story led and cheerful there. I had not sire- south side of the house, a true attic
Bashford to say, "Why don't you go ceeded in getting into the University cianter close to the sloping room.
East and study? Two or three years on any terms. I attended lectures but Fur four years I lived in that tiny
in Boston would be of the greatest tithey were all on the outside of the rsoon. In that room whose one win-
service to you." schools. * * * dow over-looked an alley, I received
H famu Gs and h aren't risk it," I answered. "I Sometime during the spring Bash- i s first inspiration to write pf the
whose famous stories and books of the haven't money enough. I had expect- ford wrote me to say that a friend of West.
frontier have just been published ine ed to sell my claim for enough toj his, a Dr. tt. B. Cross, of Jamaica One afternoon in November as I was
library fors ,by Harper & Brothers.] carry me back to Iowa or Wisconsin Plain, would like to have me call and sitting at my desk, I heard a man un-
The works included in thisnew"Middle : where I could take a special, course in tell him more about Dakota, tnd so, loading coal froms a cart, and the ring-
Border Edition" are those on which sme college, but all that is out of the one lovely Sabbath in May, I decided ing scrape of his scoop brought back
MkGarland's fame resta. 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 tp the South on a little memory of corn-husking on our Iowa
Editor's Note: Hamlin Garland is East. I can earn msy living anywhere teetering yellow street-car, I felt like farm when, at sunset, I was called
ntale in literature as one of the first in the West but the East appalls me" a i man suddenly released from prison, upon to shovel the last load of corn
snd after leaving Roxhusry Crossing, I into the crib. In the urge of this emo-
o th A rtI Ts D He smiled at soy fars. "You'll find found myself traversing winding tion I began to write a descri Cion of
ha. been al t Iseure this pers-onal friensts there, as I dtid. I ocan heIts
account of his early struggles and rise , - I lanes between lovely lawns and fow- "A Western Corn-Hisusking," and this
to promine, swhit will be if inlr - ysou get into a special course in the Iring orchards. It was a heavenly hour article which was accepted with a let-
lr h1son University. I'l give you let- for Ie. ter of praise by a New York editor,
eat to r'-der of lb Magauine. ters to some of the professors there I found Dr. Cross living in a square started me on a series of articles de-
suni you can work at something to pay frame house in a garden of p ar and lineative of the life of a boy on an
In looking back over my life I cas n-es. Many of the students io apple trees. Ie was a tall thin man tow farm. These papers, some of
see that my whole literary career was that." with beautiful dark eyes andi a kindly which. were paid for and some were
determined by a chance meeting with The outcome of this brief conver- smile. Ie told me afterward that e not, beienme the basis of "Boy Life on
a stranger. Without that meeting I sation was an amazing adventure for was alarmed at my pallor. I think, the Prairie."
might not have had a literary career. me. In less than two months I sold he sus pected my need of food for ire My fictional inspiration did not come
One Sunday afternoon, in 1884, my my claim in Mac Pherson County, and invited me to stay to dinner, at in- until two years later, when having
parents and I were surprised to re- followed out Bashford's suggestion. vitation which I accepted with as (Continued on Page 7)
The Poet Series---5. Vachel Lindsay
(By Lois Ehlisabeihl Whitcomb) porary poets seems secure enough. He t 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 Lotuis come famous as in entertainer of a of a broom,
series of poets who have come to Ann Untermeyer's discriminating antho- distinctive type. Booinlay, boomlay, boomlay, BOOM.
Arbor tinder the auspices of the Amer- logy. "Modern American Poetry," and "The Congo" is probably the best TItEN I had religion, THEN I had
ican Association of University Women these six themselves are sufficient to known of all his eerses. It is an in- it vision.
and Whimsies, will speak at 8 o'clock iprove the significance of his comps- 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 curious swinging speed of its meter ' THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEP.
There is probably no other figure in Lindsay's wort; as "ass infectious blend and its rich play of vowels and con- t INC 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," "Vlore There is a certain sweep to such
lows the anrient 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 I "Fat black hucks in a wine -harrel ! LitndsaY senses to the fitl the value
Georgia, and the Carolinas. Since poetry and music, Lindsay (obviously room of refrains in his work. Sometimes,
then he has made several more long infected by the echolalia of Poe's Barrel-house kings, with feet un- s in "The Congo" he introduces two
trips on foot. 'Bells') tried to create what hIt called stable, or three refrains. Again, as in "The
He is the one example of the mod- a 'Higher Vaudeville' imagination, 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 oid the table, frain, with slight variations. Ie has
regarded by more conventional writers Greek precedent where every line was Pounded on the table, (a trick, too, of repeating a line oca-
with something like the same sts- halfh-spoken, half-sung." teat an enpty barrel with the 1 sionalty as he does in the following
picion that medieval men of learning That these experiments have proved - handle of ia 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. (Continued on Page 8)


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