The Blarney Stone for May-June has cast off all undue seriousness, and teems with light and attractive matter concerning the recent Rocky Mount convention. Some of the displays of wit and cleverness are very striking and entertaining indeed, while no page departs so far from merit that it may be justly adjudged as dull.
The Boys' Herald for August is an issue of unusual elaborateness, announcing the engagement of its editor, Mr. Edwin Hadley Smith, and Miss Nita Edna Gerner of New York. Excellent portraits of the happy couple follow the formal announcement, and Miss Gerner, now Associate Editor, describes in an excellent prose style the romance which culminated in the engagement. "Gerneriana," consisting mainly of a reprint from an earlier issue, is an interesting account of the late Richard Gerner, an old-time amateur, and father of the prospective bride. This article is well supplemented by the reproductions of parts of old amateur papers which adorn the back cover of the magazine. The remainder of The Boys' Herald is wholly statistical, dealing with the amateur career of Mr. Smith. Few members of the association could produce superior records of activity.
The Brooklynite for April maintains the high standard set by the previous number. "A Miracle," the opening poem, was composed by Alice L. Carson during the course of a meeting of the Blue Pencil Club, yet exhibits all the grace and harmony expected in a carefully planned and laboriously polished work. "Spring Thoughts," by A. M. Adams, is a humorous prose masterpiece by the National's new Critic. Seldom is the amateur press favoured with such a well-sustained succession of brilliant epigrams. Miss Owen's "Ode to Trempealeau Mountain" is a noble specimen of heroic blank verse, containing some very striking antithetical lines. The title, however, is a misnomer, since a true ode is necessarily of irregular form. "Some Late Amateur Magazines," by W. B. Stoddard, is a series of brief, informal reviews. As a critic, Mr. Stoddard shows considerable discernment, though having a rather unpleasant air of conscious superiority in certain places. A little more stateliness of style would add to the force of his criticisms. "Spring" reveals Rheinhart Kleiner in his favourite domain of amatory verse. Mr. Kleiner's tuneful numbers and pure diction render his poetry ever a delight. "Rebellion," by Miss von der Heide, is a metrically perfect piece of verse whose artistry is marred only by the use of the unpoetical philosophical term "subconscious" instead of "unconscious."
The Brooklynite for July is of especial interest as the first paper to print an account of the Rocky Mount convention. This description, from the facile and versatile pen of Miss von der Heide, is of distinctly informal character, yet is none the less interesting as an animated chronicle of an enjoyable event. Rheinhart Kleiner's account of the National convention is more dignified, and may be considered as a model for this sort of composition. Mr. Kleiner shines as brightly in prose as in verse, and each day surprises us with revelations of excellence in various dissimilar departments of literature.
The Conservative for July is notable for Mr. Ira Cole's delightfully pantheistic poem, "A Dream of the Golden Age." The unusual poetic genius of Mr. Cole has been revealed but recently, yet the imaginative qualities pervading some of his prose long ago gave indications of this gift. The pantheistic, Nature-worshipping mind of our author lends to his productions an unique and elusive atmosphere which contrasts very favourably with the earthy tone of some of our less fanciful bards. Metrically, Mr. Cole adopts instinctively the regular, conservative forms of a saner generation. In this specimen of heroic verse he inclines toward the practice of Keats, and does not always confine single thoughts to single couplets in the manner of the eighteenth-century poets. We believe that Mr. Cole is commencing a successful career as a United poet, and await the day when he shall be accorded the honor of a laureateship.
The Coyote for July reveals a wonderful improvement over the March number, both in the literary quality of its contributions and in general editorial excellence. Never before have we seen the perfect amateur spirit acquired so quickly as in Mr. Harrington's case. "Night Fancies," by Helen H. Salls, is a sonnet of exceptional power and artistry, whose faultless metre is equalled only by its bold and striking images. Amidst this profusion of excellent metaphor, it is difficult to select individual instances for particular praise, but we might commend especially the passage:
"... the stars still keep Afloat like boats that black sky-billows ride."
Miss Salls is clearly an amateur poet of the first rank, and it is to be hoped that she will be a liberal contributor to United magazines. "The Rebirth of the British Empire," by William T. Harrington, is a clear and concise exposition of the virtues whereby Old England maintains her proud position as Mistress of the Seas, and chief colonial empire of the world. The style of the essay is admirable, and well exhibits the progressive qualities of Mr. Harrington. "An Ideal," by Nettie Hartman, is a short poem of pleasing sentiment and harmonious metre. The notes on amateur affairs are interesting and well composed, revealing Mr. Harrington's increasing enthusiasm for the cause.
Dowdell's Bearcat for May is another striking illustration of the improvement which can affect a paper within a very short time. Since last October Mr. Dowdell has been progressing swiftly toward journalistic excellence, and even this cleverly conceived and uniquely shaped issue fails to mark the limit of his ambition. "Knowest Thou?" by Mrs. Renshaw, is an expressive tribute to a nation whose recent infamies can never wholly becloud its rugged virtues. "With Nature I Rejoice" is probably the best poem which Joseph R. Schaffman has yet written. As his remarkable talent matures, the didactic element in his verse is gradually giving way to the more purely poetic, and this latest effort is one of which he may be justly proud. Concerning Mr. Dowdell's own spirited prose, we need only repeat the previous suggestion, that a little less slang would add much to its force and dignity.
Dowdell's Bearcat for May 26 contains another poem by Mrs. Renshaw whose national tone is not likely to be popular just now outside the country to which it refers; in fact, Editor Dowdell has deemed it wise to make an apologetic statement concerning it. However, if we call "Ein Mann" Col. Theodore Roosevelt, and shift the scene to San Juan Hill, we may be able to appreciate the real patriotism delineated.
Dowdell's Bearcat for June is wholly given over to notes of the amateur world. Mr. Dowdell is indeed a pleasing young writer, and leaves none of his topics without a characteristic touch of light adornment.
The Lake Breeze for April is distinguished by James L. Crowley's poem entitled "April," a brief lyric of marked merit, highly expressive of the season. "Writing Poetry," an essay by Dora M. Hepner, is a clear and tasteful analysis of the poet's art and inspiration. "The Norwegian Recruit," a dialect monologue by Maurice W. Moe, is the leading feature of this issue. This exquisite bit of humor, recited by Mr. Moe at the United's 1913 convention, is a sketch of rare quality. "The Amateur Press," now firmly established as a column of contributed reviews, is this month of substantial size and fair quality. It is needless to say that the news pages are interesting, and that the paper as a whole well maintains the high reputation it has ever enjoyed.
The Lake Breeze for June apparently opens an era of unprecedented improvement, being of distinctly literary rather than political nature. The plea for a Department of Instruction is a just one, and ought to meet with response from some of our pedagogical members. "Broken Metre," by Mrs. Renshaw, is an attempt at defending the popular atrocities committed in the name of freedom by the modern poets. While the article is superficially quite plausible, we feel that the settled forms of regular metre have too much natural justification thus to be disturbed. The citation of Milton, intended to strengthen Mrs. Renshaw's argument, really weakens it; for while he undoubtedly condemns rhyme, he laments in the course of this very condemnation the lame metre which is sometimes concealed by apt rhyming. "Some Views on Versification," by Clara I. Stalker, is an essay written from a sounder and more conservative point of view. The middle course in poetical composition, which avoids alike wild eccentricities and mechanical precision, has much to recommend it, and Miss Stalker does well to point out its virtues. However, we do not see why even the few irregularities which are here said to be inevitable, cannot be smoothed out by the bard without destroying the sense of his poetry. "Disappointment," by Mrs. Maude K. Barton, is a clever piece of light verse whose sprightly humour makes up for its slight metrical roughness. The imperfect but allowable rhyming of "bear" and "appear" in the first stanza is entirely correct according to the old-time standards which we ourselves follow, but we fear that the delicate ear of a precise metrical artist like Rheinhart Kleiner would object to its liberalism. "The Amateur Press" is distinguished by an excellent review from the pen of Mrs. Renshaw. The style is satisfactory, and the criticism just, making the whole well worthy of the prize book it has secured for its author. "'Pollyanna,' the Glad Book" is a meritorious and entertaining review by Mrs. Griffith. "Hope," by Marguerite Sisson, is commendable for its use of that noble but neglected measure, the heroic couplet. Mr. Daas' concluding editorial, "Literature and Politics," is admirable for its concise exposition of the United's new ideals, and its masterly refutation of the common fallacy that political quarrels are necessary to stimulate activity in the press associations.
The Looking Glass for May is a journal unique in purpose and quality. Edited by Mrs. Renshaw in behalf of her many gifted recruits, it reveals a condition absolutely unexampled; the acquisition by one member of so many high-grade novices that a special publication is required properly to introduce them to the United. "To a Critic of Shelley," by Helen H. Salls, is a long piece of beautiful blank verse, marred only by one accidental rhyme. Miss Salls is evidently one of those few really powerful poets who come all too seldom into Amateur Journalism, startling the Association with impeccable harmony and exalted images. The present poem grows even more attractive on analysis. The diction is of phenomenal purity and wholly unspoiled by any ultra-modern touch. It might have been a product of Shelley's own age. The metaphor is marvellous, exhibiting a soul overflowing with true spirituality, and a mind trained to express beautiful thought in language of corresponding beauty. Such unforced ornateness is rarely met in the domain of amateur poetry. We feel certain that Miss Salls has already become a fixed star in the empyrean of the United. Exalted poetry of quite another type is furnished by the work of our new Director, Rev. Frederick Chenault, whose two exquisite lyrics, "Birth" and "The Sea of Somewhere," appear in this issue. With little use of formal rhyme and metre, Mr. Chenault abounds in delicate conceptions and artistic renditions. "Retrospection," by Kathleen Baldwin, is likewise a poem of high order, and of fairly regular metre, evidently following comparatively recent models in technique. "The Faithful Man," by I. T. Valentine, shows growing poetical talent, but is cruelly injured by the anticlimactic line. Not that there is any anticlimax of sentiment, but the colloquial mode of expression shocks the reader who has been perusing the more dignified lines which go before. "The Stonework of Life" is an excellent prose sermon by Joseph Ernest Shufelt, which displays great ability in the field of metaphor and allegory. Mr. Shufelt possesses an admirable style, unusually well fitted for didactic matter of this sort; indeed, it is regrettable that he should ever depart from such congenial themes and turn to the wild sensationalism which he shows in The Badger. In demonstrating the beauties of morality and religion, he has few superiors, and a task so appropriate to his genius ought to claim his whole attention. True, his thoughts may follow strange courses in their quest for truth and beauty, but were he always to curb them within the bounds of probability and conservatism, as here, he would never lose the confidence of his public, as he has done with his strange war theories. "The Autocracy of Art," by Anne Vyne Tillery Renshaw, is the leading article of the magazine. Herein the author proclaims the supremacy of spiritual utterances over all restrictions created by the mind, and urges the emancipation of the soaring bard from the earthly chains of rhyme and metre. That the inward promptings of the poetic instinct are of prime value to the poet, few will dispute; but that they may give final form to his soul's creations without some regulation by the natural laws of rhythm, few will agree. The metric sense lies far deeper in the breast of man than Mrs. Renshaw is here disposed to acknowledge. After this article, the perfectly regular stanzas of "Fellow Craftsman," by the same author, are refreshing. The typography and form of The Looking Glass leave something to be desired, but the riches within make ample compensation for outward crudity.
The New Member for May, edited by William Dowdell, contains but one credential, yet doubtless paves the way for a resumption of the enterprise so ably conducted by Miss Hoffman last year. "Melancholy," a poem by I. T. Valentine, shows traces of the beginner's crudeness, yet has about it a quality which promises much for the future of the poet. "Lock-Step Pete," by Miss von der Heide, is an unusual poem with a thoughtful suggestion embodied in its concluding stanza.
The New Member bound with the May Official Quarterly is a model that should henceforth be followed as the nearest approach to perfection yet beheld. Credentials, lists of prospective members, news of recruits, and accounts of local clubs are here given in just and pleasing proportion. "Bluets and Butterflies," by Carolyn L. Amoss, is a poem of great delicacy and ethereal atmosphere. The solitary, tiny flaw is the attempted rhyming of "Miss" and "yes." "War in America," by Annette E. Foth, is a pleasant juvenile story. E. Ralph Cheyney's extract from his essay on "Youth" is in many ways remarkable, and shows us that we have another recruit of choice quality. His rather peculiar ideas are well expressed, though their soundness is quite debatable. A few abnormal characters like Byron and Shelley doubtless experienced all the adolescent phenomena which Mr. Cheyney describes, but we believe that the average youth is a copyist, and for the most part reflects his environment. Radicalism and novel ideas arise just as much from blase, elderly cynics, who are tired of sane and sober conservatism. We have been reflecting on Life for about twenty years, ever since we were five, and have consistently believed that the wisdom of the ancient sage is the true wisdom; that Life is essentially immutable, and that the glorious dreams of youth are no more than dreams, to be dissipated by the dawn of maturity and the full light of age. "Flowers on the Grave," a poem by J. D. Hill, has a commendable sentiment, and is remarkable for its possession of only one repeated rhyming sound. Whether or not the latter feature be monotonous, all must admit that the versification is attractive. "We Are All Desperate!" is a striking philosophical fragment by Melvin Ryder, which first appeared as an editorial in the Ohio State Lantern. The conjectures are plausible, and the precepts sound. The news items in this paper are all fresh and interesting, concluding an issue uniformly excellent.
The Pippin for May displays very favourably the high-school club whose founding and maintenance are due entirely to the genius of Mr. Maurice W. Moe. "The Coasters," by Esther Ronning, is the only poem in the issue, but its quality atones for the absence of other verse. The pleasures and perils of coasting are here portrayed with wonderfully graphic pen, whilst the metre is, so far as technical correctness is concerned, all that might be desired. However, we wish that Miss Ronning were less fond of unusual rhyming arrangements. The lines here given are of regular ballad length. Were they disposed in couplets, we should have a tuneful lay of the "Chevy Chase" order; but as it is, our ear misses the steady couplet effect to which the standard models have accustomed us. "With the Assistance of Carmen" is a clever short story by Gladys Bagg, derived from the same plot nucleus by Mr. Moe which likewise evoked Miss Moore's story in the March UNITED AMATEUR. The structure of the narrative is excellent, but we do not like the use of the plebeian expression "onto" on page 3. There is properly no such word as "onto" in the English language, "upon" being the preposition here required. Webster clearly describes "onto" as a low provincialism or colloquialism. "Little Jack in Fairyland," by Ruth Ryan, is a well written account of a dream, with the usual awakening just as events are coming to a climax. The style is very attractive, and the images ingenious. "Getting What You Want," by Mr. Moe, is a brief one-act farce illustrating the subtle devices whereby the sharp housewife bewilders the good-natured landlord into the granting of extraordinary favours. Had the heroine kept on to still greater lengths, she might have secured an entire new house. The present number of The Pippin is, save for the absence of photographs, quite as pleasing as the previous number. We trust that Mr. Moe's editorial prophecy may be fulfilled, and that we may soon behold another issue which shall make us familiar with the new faces brought by revolving time into the congenial Appleton circle.
The Plainsman for July is the best number yet issued, the two eleventh-hour contributions being very cleverly introduced. "Revised Edition," by Mrs. Jeanette Timkin, is a versified piece of keen humour and good metre, well illustrating the opening of the third or aerial element to human travel. "To Bazine, Kansas" is a sprightly prose account by James J. Hennessey of his journey from Boston to Bazine. "An Incident of Early Days," by Mrs. John Cole, is presented in the same attractive reminiscent style which makes her article in The Trail so readable and interesting. We are here told of the times when herds of bison were common sights, and are given a pleasing account of the formation of the Bazine Sunday-School. The articles by Mr. and Mrs. Ira Cole show their appreciation of the amateurs who have visited them, and conclude an issue of thoroughly entertaining quality.
The Providence Amateur for June introduces to the United another local press club of great enthusiasm. Owing to some unauthorized omissions made by the printer, this first issue is scarcely representative of the club's entire personnel, but that which still remains affords, after all, a fair index to the character and ideals of the new organization. The editorials by John T. Dunn are both frank and fearless. We detest a shifty club whose allegiance wavers betwixt the United, the Morris Faction and the National, and so are greatly pleased at Mr. Dunn's manly and open stand for the one real United. The editor's opinions on acknowledgment of papers is certainly just from one point of view, though much may be said for the opposite side. When an amateur journal has been prepared with unusual labour, and mailed conscientiously to every member of the Association, the publisher has substantial reason for resenting any marked display of neglect. We do not blame The Blarney Stone for its attitude on this question, and shall probably follow its custom by mailing the next Conservative only to those who have acknowledged one or both of the previous issues.
The Reflector for June is a British amateur magazine, transplanted on American soil by its able editor, Ernest A. Dench. "Crossing the Atlantic in War Time" is a pleasing account of Mr. Dench's voyage from Liverpool to New York. "Chunks of Copy" forms the title of an excellent though informal editorial department, while "A Brain Tank at Your Service" teems with witticisms concerning various members of the Blue Pencil Club. This magazine has no connection with any former journal of like title, but seems likely to prove a worthy successor to all its namesakes.
The Trail for Spring is a new and substantial illustrated magazine of 20 pages and cover, issued by our well-known Private Critic, Mr. Alfred L. Hutchinson. At the head of the contents are the reminiscences of the editor, which prove extremely interesting reading, and which are well supplemented by the lines entitled "The Tramp Printer." Also by Mr. Hutchinson is the well written and animated account of Mr. Nicholas Bruehl, whose artistic photographical work adorns the inside covers of this issue. "Pioneer Life in Kansas," by Mrs. John Cole, is a delightfully graphic picture of the trials and adventures of the early settlers in the West. Being written from actual personal experience, the various incidents leave a lasting impression on the mind of the reader, while a pleasing smoothness of style enhances the vividness of the narrative. "Memory-Building" is the first of a series of psychological articles by our master amateur, Maurice W. Moe. It is here demonstrated quite conclusively, that the faculty of memory is dependent on the fundamental structure and quality of the brain, and may never be acquired or greatly improved through cultivation. "Evening at Magnolia Springs," by Laura E. Moe, exhibits the same type of literary talent that her gifted husband possesses; in fact, this sketch may be compared with Mr. Moe's well-known "Cedar Lake Days." The use of trivial incidents gives an intense naturalness to the description. "Caught," by Ruth M. Lathrop, is a brilliant short story whose development and climax are natural and unforced. Fiction is generally the amateur's weakest spot, but Miss Lathrop is evidently one of the few shining exceptions. So thoroughly excellent is The Trail, that we hope to see not merely a second issue, but its permanent establishment as one of the United's leading magazines.
The Tryout for June belongs to the National, but contains much matter by United members. "Tempora Mutantur," a very meritorious short story by Marguerite Sisson, affords an illuminating contrast between the solid culture of 1834 and the detestable shallowness of the present time. This prevailing frivolity and unscholarliness is something which the United is seeking to remedy, and we are thankful indeed for stories such as this, which expose modern levity in all its nauseousness. It is evident that Miss Sisson is emulating the appreciative Anne Carroll of 1834, rather than her obtuse and indifferent descendant. "The District School," by Edna R. Guilford, describes very vividly the many petty annoyances that beset the average teacher. While the picture is extremely well presented as a whole, certain roughnesses of diction nevertheless arrest the critical eye. "Onto," in the first paragraph, is a provincialism which should be superseded by "to." Further on we hear the teacher admonishing a youth to wash up some ink, and "wash it good"! Would a teacher thus express herself? "Well" is the adverb here needed. "Too tired to hardly stand" is a seriously ungrammatical phrase, which should read: "almost too tired to stand." We note that one of the pupils' names is given as "Robert Elsmere." While it may not be essentially a fault thus to use the name of a famous character of fiction, we feel that the exercise of a little more originality might have avoided this appropriation of Mrs. Humphry Ward's celebrated hero. Miss Guilford's fundamental talent is unmistakable, but needs cultivation and practice before it can shine out in full splendour.
The Tryout for July contains "Cripple George," a beautiful short story by Mrs. Rose L. Elmore, commendable alike in plot and technique. "A Day in the Mountains," by Harry H. Connell, is a very interesting sketch whose style exhibits considerable promise.
THE UNITED AMATEUR for March contains a literary department which will, we hope, remain as a regular feature. "Tobias Smithers, Leading Man" is Miss Ellen Moore's prize-winning attempt at constructing a story from a very brief nucleus given by Mr. Moe. Miss Moore here exhibits a facile pen and a just appreciation of humorous situations. "Ghosts," by Mrs. Renshaw, well illustrates the vague superstitions of the negroes, those strange creatures of darkness who seem never to cross completely the threshold from apedom to humanity. "March," by ourselves, is a gem of exquisite poesy, etc., etc., which we have here praised because no one else could ever conscientiously do so. Line 10 apparently breaks the metre, but this seeming break is due wholly to the printer. The line should read:
"The longer sunshine, and the shorter night."
"The Unknown Equation" is a love story by Mrs. Florence Shepphird. Though the major portion is quite polished and consistent, we cannot but deem the conclusion too abrupt and precipitate. Perhaps, being a frigid old critic without experience in romance, we ought to submit the question to some popular newspaper column of Advice to the Lovelorn, inquiring whether or not it be permissible for a young lady, after only a few hours' acquaintanceship with a young gentleman, to encourage him to "put his arm around her yielding form and kiss her passionately"!!
THE UNITED AMATEUR for May is graced by "Reveille," a powerful and stirring poem written in collaboration by our two gifted bards, Mr. Kleiner, the Laureate, and Miss von der Heide. "Nature and the Countryman," by A. W. Ashby, is an iconoclastic attack on that love of natural beauty which is inherent in every poetical, imaginative and delicately strung brain. In prose of faultless technique and polished style, Mr. Ashby catalogues like a museum curator every species of flaw that he can possibly pick in the scenes and events of rustic life. But while the career of the farmer is assuredly not one of uninterrupted bliss, it were folly to assert that Nature's superlative loveliness is not more than enough to compensate for its various infelicities. No mind of high grade is so impervious to aesthetic emotion that it can behold without admiration the wonders of the rural realm, even though a vein of sordid suffering ran through the beauteous ensemble. Of all our personal friends, the one who most adores and loves to personify Nature is a successful farmer of unceasing diligence. Mr. Ashby errs, we are certain, in taking the point of view of the unimaginative and unappreciative peasant. This sort of animal interprets Nature by physical, not mental associations, and is unfitted by heredity to receive impressions of the beautiful in its less material aspects. Whilst he grumbles at the crimson flames of Aurora, thinking only of the afternoon rain thus predicted, the man of finer mould, though equally cognizant that a downpour may follow, rejoices impulsively at the pure beauty of the scene itself, a scene whose intellectual exaltation will help him the better to bear the dull afternoon. Is not the beauty-lover the happier of the two? Both must endure the trials, but the poet enjoys compensating pleasures which the boor may never know. The personification and deification of Nature is a legacy from primitive ages which will delight us in an atavistical way till our very race shall have perished. And let Mr. Ashby remember that those early tribes who placed a god or goddess in every leafy tree, crystal fount, reedy lake or sparkling brook, were far closer to Nature and the soil than is any modern tenant farmer.
The United Official Quarterly for May has resumed its former attractive appearance, and contains a very creditable assortment of literary matter. "Atmosphere," by Mrs. Shepphird, is a thoughtful and pleasing essay, whose second half well describes the individuality of the various amateur authors and editors. "The Kingly Power of Laughter," by Louena Van Norman, is no less just and graphic, illustrating the supreme force of humour and ridicule. Leo Fritter, in "Concerning Candidates," points out some important details for office-seekers, whilst Ira A. Cole, in "Five Sticks on Finance," gives some interesting suggestions for economy. "Opportunity," an essay by Mildred Blanchard, concludes the issue, and successfully disputes the noxious old platitude, that "Opportunity knocks but once at each man's door." With the Quarterly is bound The New Member, reviewed elsewhere, the two forming a tasteful and meritorious magazine.
The Woodbee for July is an issue of unusual interest, revealing the more serious and substantial activities of the prosperous Columbus Club. The opening feature is a sonnet by Alma Sanger, "To Autumn Violets," which exhibits some poetical talent and a just sense of metrical values. We are sure that the defective second line is the fault of the printer rather than of the author. "The Blind Prince," by Henriette Ziegfeld, is an excellent juvenile tale involving a fairy story. The only serious objection is the undercurrent of adult comment which flows through the narrative. Particularly cynical is the closing sentence: "'And here's Mother,' finished poor Auntie with a sigh of relief." The ordinary fairy stories told to children are bits of actual Teutonic mythology, and should be related with a grave, absolute simplicity and naivete. However, as a psychological study of the typical childish auditor, the sketch as a whole is highly meritorious. We are inclined to wonder at the possible meaning of the strange word "alright," which appears more than once in Miss Ziegfeld's tale. It is certainly no part of our language, and if it be a corruption of "all right," we must say that we fail to perceive why the correct expression could not have been used. "What's in a Name?" by Irene Metzger, is a clever sketch concerning the silly modern practice of giving fancy names to helpless infants. Glancing backward a little through history, Miss Metzger would probably sympathize with the innocent offspring of the old Puritans, who received such names as "Praise-God," and the like. Praise-God Barebones, a leading and fanatical member of Cromwell's rebel parliament, went a step further than his father, naming his own son "If-Jesus-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-Damned"! All this was actually the first name of young Barebones, but after he grew up and took a Doctor's degree, he was called by his associates, "Damned Dr. Barebones"! "Moonlight on the River," by Ida Cochran Haughton, is an exquisite sentimental poem, each stanza of which ends with the same expression. The atmosphere is well created, and the images dexterously introduced. The whole piece reminds the reader of one of Thomas Moore's beautiful old "Irish Melodies." That Mrs. Haughton's talent has descended to the second generation is well proven by Edna M. Haughton's "Review of the Literary Work of the Quarter." Miss Haughton is a polished and scholarly reviewer, and her criticisms are in every instance just and helpful. The editorial on "Miss United" is very well written, and should be carefully perused by those in danger of succumbing to the autumnal advances of that sour old maid, Miss National.
—HOWARD P. LOVECRAFT Chairman.
Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs
Among the many amateurs I have never met in the flesh and realness of Life, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, poet, critic and student, appeals to me as no other recent "find" in the circles of amateuria has ever appealed. And Lovecraft is a distinct "find." Just why he holds a firm grip on my heart-strings is something of a mystery to me. Perhaps it is because of his wholesome ideals; perhaps it is because he is a recluse, content to nose among books of ancient lore; perhaps it's because of his physical afflictions; his love of things beautiful in Life; his ardent advocacy of temperance, cleanliness and purity—I don't know. We disagree on many questions; he criticises my literary activities; he smiles at my suffrage theories, and disapproves of my language in Chain Lightning. But I like him.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft has an interesting history, and this fact was known to Official Editor Daas when he asked me to take a little journey to the study-home of the Vice-President. "Don't stint yourself for space" was noted on the assignment tab, and after glancing over the biographical notes before me—I am sure that Daas has again exemplified his quiet humor during a serious moment.
Lovecraft was born at 454 Angell St., Providence, R. I., on August 20, 1890. His nationality is Anglo-American, and under British law he can claim to be a British subject, since he is a grandson in direct male line of a British subject not naturalized in the United States. His ancestry is purely English. On the paternal side he is a descendant of the Lovecrafts, a Devonshire family which has furnished a great many clergymen to the Church of England, and the Allgoods of Northumberland, a history-honored family of which several members have been knighted. The Allgoods have been a military line, and this may account for Lovecraft's militarism and belief in the justice of war. On the maternal side he is a typical Yankee, coming from East English stock which settled in Rhode Island about 1680. Lovecraft is a student of astronomy—it is a domineering passion with him—and this love was apparently inherited from his maternal grandmother, Rhoby Phillips, who studied it thoroughly in her youth at Lapham Seminary, and whose collection of old astronomical books first interested him. Lovecraft came from pure-blood stock, and he is the last male descendant of that family in the United States. With him the name will die in America. He is unmarried.
As he was about to enter college at the age of eighteen, his feeble health gave way, and since then he has been physically incapacitated and rendered almost an invalid. Being thus deprived of his cherished hope to further his education and prepare himself for a life of letters, he has contented himself with his home, which is just three squares from his birthplace, and where he lives with his mother. And his home life is ideal. His personal library—his haven of contentment—contains more than 1500 volumes, many of them yellowed with age, and crude examples of the printer's art. Among these treasured books may be found volumes which have passed through the various branches of his family, some dating back to 1681 and 1702, and methinks I can see Lovecraft poring over these time-stained bits o' bookish lore as the monks of old followed the printed lines with quivering fingers in the taper's uncertain, flickering light. For Lovecraft appeals to me as a bookworm—one of those lovable mortals whose very existence seems to hang on the numbered pages of a heavy, clumsy book!
His connection with organized amateur journalism is of recent date. On April 6, 1914, his application for membership in the United Amateur Press Association of America was forwarded to the Secretary. Like a great many of the recruits, Lovecraft was completely ignored for several months. In July of last year he became active, and he has proven to be an invaluable asset to the literary life of the Association. He is not a politician. However, his literary activities had been prosecuted many years before he had ever heard of the United. At the age of eight and one-half years he published the Scientific Gazette, a weekly periodical, written in pencil and issued in editions of four carbon copies. This journal was devoted to the science of chemistry, which was one of his earliest hobbies, and ran from March, 1899, to February, 1904. As in most cases, my knowledge of chemistry was acquired after I had spent four years in high-school, and the fact that any boy should be interested in that study at the age of eight and one-half years appeals to me as something out of the ordinary. But Lovecraft was not an ordinary boy. His second and more ambitious venture was the Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy. This was at first published as a weekly, and later changed to a monthly publication. This was carefully printed by hand and then duplicated on the hectograph and issued in lots of twenty-five copies. The Journal was issued from 1903 to 1907, and contained the latest astronomical news, re-written from the original telegraphic reports issued from Harvard University and seen at the Ladd Observatory. It also contained many of his original articles and forecasts of phenomena. He owns a 3-inch telescope of French make, and aside from amateur journalism, his one great hobby is astronomy. At the age of sixteen he commenced writing monthly astronomical articles for the Providence Tribune, and later changed to the Evening News, to which he still contributes. During the present year he has contributed a complete elementary treatise on astronomy in serial form to the Asheville (N. C.) Gazette-News. Besides contributing a great many poems and articles to the amateur press, editing The Conservative and assisting with the editorial work on The Badger, the appearance of Mr. Lovecraft's work in the professional magazines is of common occurrence. During the past year he has had charge of the Bureau of Public Criticism in THE UNITED AMATEUR, where he has proven himself a just, impartial and painstaking critic. That he will achieve a great popularity in the world of amateur letters is a foregone conclusion, and I do not think that I am indulging in extravagant praise in predicting a brilliant future for him in the professional field.
I am acquainted with Howard Phillips Lovecraft only through correspondence; I have never felt the flesh of his palm, and yet, I know he is a man—every inch of him—and that amateur journalism will be enriched and promoted to its highest plane through his kindly influence and literary leadership.
ANDREW FRANCIS LOCKHART
THE UNITED AMATEUR FEBRUARY 1916
The Teuton's Battle-Song
"Omnis erat vulnus unda Terra rubefacta calido Frendebat gladius in loricas Gladius findebat clypeos— Non retrocedat vir a viro Hoc fuit viri fortis nobilitas diu— Laetus cerevisiam cum Asis In summa sede bibam Vitae elapsae sunt horae Ridens moriar." —REGNER LODBROG
The mighty Woden laughs upon his throne, And once more claims his children for his own. The voice of Thor resounds again on high, While arm'd Valkyries ride from out the sky: The Gods of Asgard all their pow'rs release To rouse the dullard from his dream of peace. Awake! ye hypocrites, and deign to scan The actions of your "brotherhood of Man." Could your shrill pipings in the race impair The warlike impulse put by Nature there? Where now the gentle maxims of the school, The cant of preachers, and the Golden Rule? What feeble word or doctrine now can stay The tribe whose fathers own'd Valhalla's sway? Too long restrain'd, the bloody tempest breaks, And Midgard 'neath the tread of warriors shakes. On to thy death, Berserker bold! And try In acts of Godlike bravery to die! Who cares to find the heaven of the priest, When only warriors can with Woden feast? The flesh of Sehrimnir, and the cup of mead, Are but for him who falls in martial deed: Yon luckless boor, that passive meets his end, May never in Valhalla's court contend. Slay, brothers, Slay! And bathe in crimson gore; Let Thor, triumphant, view the sport once more! All other thoughts are fading in the mist, But to attack, or if attack'd, resist. List, great Alfadur, to the clash of steel; How like a man does each brave swordsman feel! The cries of pain, the roars of rampant rage, In one vast symphony our ears engage. Strike! Strike him down! Whoever bars the way; Let each kill many ere he die today! Ride o'er the weak; accomplish what ye can; The Gods are kindest to the strongest man! Why should we fear? What greater joy than this? Asgard alone could give us sweeter bliss! My strength is waning; dimly can I see The helmeted Valkyries close to me. Ten more I slay! How strange the thought of fear, With Woden's mounted messengers so near! The darkness comes; I feel my spirit rise; A kind Valkyrie bears me to the skies. With conscience clear, I quit the earth below, The boundless joys of Woden's halls to know. The grove of Glasir soon shall I behold, And on Valhalla's tablets be enroll'd: There to remain, till Heimdall's horn shall sound, And Ragnarok enclose creation round; And Bifrost break beneath bold Surtur's horde, And Gods and men fall dead beneath the sword; When sun shall die, and sea devour the land, And stars descend, and naught but Chaos stand. Then shall Alfadur make his realm anew, And Gods and men with purer life indue. In that blest country shall Abundance reign, Nor shall one vice or woe of earth remain. Then, not before, shall men their battles cease, And live at last in universal peace. Through cloudless heavens shall the eagle soar, And happiness prevail forevermore.
—H. P. LOVECRAFT
The writer here endeavours to trace the ruthless ferocity and incredible bravery of the modern Teutonic soldier to the hereditary influence of the ancient Northern Gods and Heroes. Despite the cant of the peace-advocate, we must realise that our present Christian civilisation, the product of an alien people, rests but lightly upon the Teuton when he is deeply aroused, and that in the heat of combat he is quite prone to revert to the mental type of his own Woden-worshipping progenitors, losing himself in that superb fighting zeal which baffled the conquering cohorts of a Caesar, and humbled the proud aspirations of a Varus. Though appearing most openly in the Prussian, whose recent acts of violence are so generally condemned, this native martial ardour is by no means peculiar to him, but is instead the common heritage of every branch of our indomitable Xanthochroic race, British and Continental alike, whose remote forefathers were for countless generations reared in the stern precepts of the virile religion of the North. Whilst we may with justice deplore the excessive militarism of the Kaiser Wilhelm and his followers, we cannot rightly agree with those effeminate preachers of universal brotherhood who deny the virtue of that manly strength which maintains our great North European family in its position of undisputed superiority over the rest of mankind, and which in its purest form is today the bulwark of Old England. It is needless to say to an educated audience that the term "Teuton" is in no way connected with the modern German Empire, but embraces the whole Northern stock, including English and Belgians.
In the Northern religion, Alfadur, or the All-Father, was a vague though supreme deity. Beneath him were among others Woden, or Odin, practically the supreme deity, and Woden's eldest son Thor, the God of War. Asgard, or heaven, was the dwelling-place of the Gods, whilst Midgard was the earth, or abode of man. The rainbow, or bridge of Bifrost, which connected the two regions, was guarded by the faithful watchman Heimdall. Woden lived in the palace of Valhalla, near the grove of Glasir, and had as messengers to earth the Valkyries, armed, mailed and mounted virgins who conveyed from the earth to Asgard such men as had fallen bravely in battle. Only those who fell thus could taste to the full the joys of paradise. These joys consisted of alternate feasting and fighting. At Woden's feasts in Valhalla was served the flesh of the boar Sehrimnir, which, though cooked and eaten at every meal, would regain its original condition the next day. The wounds of the warriors in each celestial combat were miraculously healed at the end of the fighting.
But this heaven was not to last forever. Some day would come Ragnarok, or the Twilight of the Gods, when all creation would be destroyed, and all the Gods and men save Alfadur perish. Surtur, after killing the last of these Gods, would burn up the world. Afterward the supreme Alfadur would make a new earth or paradise, creating again the Gods and men, and suffering them ever after to dwell in peace and plenty.
THE UNITED AMATEUR
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE UNITED AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION
VOLUME XV GEORGETOWN, ILL., APRIL, 1916 NUMBER 9
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
The Brooklynite for January contains one of Rheinhart Kleiner's characteristic poems, entitled "A Mother's Song". Mr. Kleiner's command of good taste, harmony, and correctness requires no further panegyric amongst those who know him; but to the more recent United members who have not yet read extensively in our journals, his work may well be recommended as undoubtedly the safest of all amateur poetical models for emulation. Mr. Kleiner has a sense of musical rhythm which few amateur bards have ever possessed, and his choice of words and phrases is the result of a taste both innate and cultivated, whose quality appears to rare advantage in the present degenerate age. This remarkable young poet has not yet fully displayed in verse the variety of thoughts and images of which his fertile brain and well selected reading have made him master, but has preferred to concentrate most of his powers upon delicate amatory lyrics. While some of his readers may at times regret this limitation of endeavor, and wish he might practice to a greater extent that immense versatility which he permitted the amateur public to glimpse in the September Piper; it is perhaps not amiss that he should cultivate most diligently that type of composition most natural and easy to him, for he is obviously a successor of those polished and elegant poets of gallantry whose splendour adorned the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James the First.
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The Conservative for January opens with Winifred Virginia Jordan's "Song of the North Wind", one of the most powerful poems lately seen in the amateur press. Mrs. Jordan is the newest addition to the United's constellation of genuine poetical luminaries; shining as an artist of lively imagination, faultless taste, and graphic expression, whose work possesses touches of genius and individualism that have already brought her renown in amateur circles. In the poem under consideration, Mrs. Jordan displays a phenomenal comprehension of the sterner aspects of Nature, producing a thoroughly virile effect. Words are chosen with care and placed with remarkable force, whilst both alliteration and onomatopoeia are employed with striking success. By the same author is the shorter poem entitled "Galileo and Swammerdam", which though vastly different in aspect and rhythm, yet retains that suggestion of mysticism so frequently encountered in Mrs. Jordan's work.
James Tobey Pyke, a lyrical and philosophical poet of high scholastic attainments, contributes two poems; "Maia", and "The Poet". The latter is a stately sonnet, rich in material for reflection. Such is the quality of Mr. Pyke's work, that his occasional contributions are ever to be acclaimed with the keenest interest and appreciation.
Rheinhart Kleiner, our Laureate, is another bard twice represented in the January Conservative. His two poems, "Consolation" and "To Celia", though widely different in structure, are yet not unrelated in sentiment, being both devoted to the changing heart. One amateur critic has seen fit to frown upon so skilled an apotheosis of inconsistency, but it seems almost captious thus to analyse an innocuous bit of art so daintily and tastefully arrayed. "To Celia" is perhaps slightly the better of the two, having a very commendable stateliness of cadence, and a gravity of thought greater than that of "Consolation".
"The Horizon of Dreams", by Mrs. Renshaw, is a graphic and enthralling venture into the realm of nocturnal unreality. The free play of active imagination, the distorted and transitory conceptions and apparitions, and the strangely elusive analogies, all lend charm and color to this happy portrayal of the vague boundaries of Somnus' domain. Mrs. Renshaw's rank as a poet is of very high tone, most of her productions involving a spiritual insight and metaphysical comprehension vastly beyond that of the common mind. But this very nobility of imagination, and superiority to the popular appeal, are only too likely to render her best work continually underestimated and unappreciated by the majority. She is not a "poet of the masses", and her graver efforts must needs reach audiences more notable for cultured than numerical magnitude. Of Mrs. Renshaw's liberal metrical theories, enough is said elsewhere. This Department can neither endorse principles so radical, nor refrain from remarking that want of proper rhyme and metre has relegated to obscurity many a rich and inspired poem.
"Departed", by Maude Kingsbury Barton, is a sentimental poem of undoubted grace and sweetness, happily cast in unbroken metre.
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The Coyote for January is adorned by no less than three of Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's exquisite short poems. "The Night-Wind" is a delicately beautiful fragment of dreamy metaphor. There is probably a slight misprint in the last line, since the construction there becomes somewhat obscure. "My Love's Eyes" has merit, but lacks polish. The word "azure" in the first stanza, need not be in the possessive case; whilst the use of a singular verb with a plural noun in the second stanza (smiles-beguiles) is a little less than grammatical. "Longing" exhibits the author at her best, the images and phraseology alike showing the touch of genius.
Other poetry in this issue is by Adam Dickson, a bard of pleasing manner but doubtful correctness. "Smile" needs rigorous metrical and rhetorical revision to escape puerility. "Silver Bells of Memory" is better, though marred by the ungrammatical passage "thoughts doth linger". In this passage, either the noun must be made singular, or the verb form plural.
"Prohibition in Kansas" is a well written prose article by Editor William T. Harrington, wherein he exhibits a commendably favourable attitude toward the eradication of the menace of strong drink. Mr. Harrington is an able and active amateur, and takes an intelligent interest in many public questions. His style and taste are steadily improving, so that The Coyote has already become a paper of importance among us.
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The Dixie Booster for January is Mr. Raymond E. Nixon's Capital City News, transferred to the amateur world, and continued under the new name. With this number the editor's brother, Mr. Roy W. Nixon, assumes the position of Associate Editor. This neat little magazine is home-printed throughout, and may well remind the old-time amateurs of those boyish "palmy days" whose passing they lament so frequently. By means of a cut on the third page, we are properly introduced to Editor Nixon, who at present boasts but thirteen years of existence. The gifted and versatile associate editor, Mr. Roy W. Nixon, shows marked talent in three distinct departments of literature; essay-writing, fiction, and verse. "Writing as a Means of Self-Improvement" is a pure, dignified and graceful bit of prose whose thought is as commendable as its structure. "A Bottle of Carbolic Acid" is a gruesome but clever short story of the Poe type, exhibiting considerable comprehension of abnormal psychology as treated in literature. "My Valentine" is a poem of tuneful metre and well expressed sentiment, though not completely polished throughout. The third stanza, especially, might be made less like prose in its images.
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Dowdell's Bearcat for December is quaint and attractive in appearance. The youthful editor has provided himself with a series of cuts of the metaphorical "Bruin" in various attitudes and various employments, these clever little pictures lending a pleasing novelty to the cover and the margins. Judiciously distributed red ink, also, aids in producing a Christmas number of truly festive quality. Mr. Dowdell's "Growls from the Pit" is a series of editorials both timely and interesting, while his "Did You Hear That" is a lively page of fresh news. This issue is notable for Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's poetical contributions, of which there are three. "Life's Sunshine and Shadows" is a tuneful moral poem whose rhythm and imagery are equally excellent. "Contentment" is brief but delightful. "When the Woods Call" is a virile, graphic piece; vibrant with the thrill of the chase, and crisp with the frosty air of the Northern Woods.
The present reviewer's lines "To Samuel Loveman" contain five misprints, as follows:
Line 3 for are read art " 5 " Appollo " Apollo " 6 " versus " verses " 15 " eternal " ethereal " 18 " the " thee
"Beads from my Rosary", by Mary M. Sisson, is a collection of well written and sensible paragraphs on amateur journalism, which ought to assist in arousing enthusiasm amongst many members hitherto dormant. Editor Dowdell's pithy little epigrams at the foot of each page form an entertaining feature, many of them being of considerable cleverness. Dowdell's Bearcat will soon revert to its original newspaper form, since Mr. Dowdell intends to make newspaper work his life Profession.
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The Inspiration for November is a decidedly informal though exceedingly clever personal paper issued by Miss Edna von der Heide as a reminiscence of the Rocky Mount convention. Prose and verse of whimsically humorous levity are employed with success in recording the social side of the amateur gathering.
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The Looking Glass for January is composed wholly of biographical matter, introducing to the association the multitude of accomplished recruits obtained through Mrs. Renshaw and others. In these forty life stories, most of them autobiographical, the student of human nature may find material for profound reflection on the variety of mankind. The more recent members of the United, as here introduced, are in the aggregate a maturer, more serious, and more scholarly element than that which once dominated the amateur world; and if they can be properly welcomed and acclimated to the realm of amateur letters, they will be of great value indeed in building up the ideals and character of the association. For this influx of sedate, cultivated members, the United has Mrs. Renshaw to thank, since the present policy of recruiting was originated and is conducted largely by the Second Vice-President.
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Ole Miss' for December is the most important of all recent additions to amateur letters, and it is with regret that we learn of the magazine's prospective discontinuance. The issue under consideration is largely local, most of the contributions being by Mississippi talent, and it must be said that the contributors all reflect credit upon their native or adopted State.
Mr. J. W. Renshaw's page of editorials is distinguished equally by good sense and good English. His attitude of disapproval toward petty political activities and fruitless feuds in the United is one which every loyal member will endorse, for nearly all of the past disasters in amateur history have been caused not by serious literary differences, but by conflicting ambitions among those seeking no more than cheap notoriety.
Mrs. Renshaw is well represented both by prose and by verse, the most interesting of her pieces being possibly the essay entitled "Poetic Spontaneity", wherein more arguments are advanced in her effort to prove the inferior importance of form and metre in poesy. According to Mrs. Renshaw, the essence of all genuine poetry is a certain spontaneous and involuntary spiritual or psychological perception and expression; incapable of rendition in any prescribed structure, and utterly destroyed by subsequent correction or alteration of any kind. That is, the bard must respond unconsciously to the noble impulse furnished by a fluttering bird, a dew-crowned flower, or a sun-blest forest glade; recording his thoughts exactly as evolved, and never revising the result, even though it be detestably cacophonous, or absolutely unintelligible to his less inspired circle of readers. To such a theory as this we must needs reply, that while compositions of the sort indicated may indeed represent poesy, they certainly represent art in its proper sense no more than do "futuristic" pictures and other modern monstrosities of a like nature. The only exact means whereby a poet may transmit his ideas to others is language, a thing both definite and intellectual. Granting that vague, chaotic, dissonant lines are the best form in which the tender suitor of the Muses may record his spiritual impressions for his own benefit and comprehension, it by no means follows that such lines are at all fitted to convey those impressions to minds other than his own. When language is used without appropriateness, harmony, or precision, it can mean but little save to the person who writes it. The soul of a poem lies not in words but in meaning; and if the author have any skill at all in recording thought through language, he will be able to refine the uncouth mass of spontaneous verbiage which first comes to him as representing his idea, but which in its original amorphous state may fail entirely to suggest the same idea to another brain. He will be able to preserve and perpetuate his idea in a style of language which the world may understand, and in a rhythm which may not offend the reader's sense of propriety with conspicuous harshness, breaks, or sudden transitions.
"Flames of the Shadow", Mrs. Renshaw's longest poetical contribution to this issue, is a powerful piece which, despite the author's theory, seems in no way injured by its commendably regular structure. "Immortality of Love" is likewise rather regular, though the plan of rhyming breaks down in the last stanza. "For You" and "Sacrament of Spirit" are short pieces, the former containing an "allowable" rhyming of "tongue" and "long", which would not meet with the approval of the Kleiner type of critic, but upon which this department forbears to frown.
James T. Pyke's two poems, "To a Butterfly" and "Life and Time" are gems of incomparable beauty. "Ole Gardens", by Winifred V. Jordan, is a haunting bit of semi-irregular verse which deserves warm applause for the cleverness of its imagery and the aptness of its phraseology. "The Reward of it All", by Emilie C. Holladay, is a potent but pathetic poem of sentiment, whose development is highly commendable, but whose metrical construction might be improved by judicious care. "A Mississippi Autumn" was written as prose by Mrs. Renshaw, and set in heroic verse without change of ideas by the present critic. The metaphor is uniformly lofty and delicate, whilst the development of the sentiment is facile and pleasing. It is to be hoped that the original thoughts of the author are not impaired or obscured by the technical turns of the less inspired versifier. "My Dear, Sweet, Southern Blossom", dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. Renshaw with Compliments of the Author, James Laurence Crowley, is a saccharine and sentimental piece of verse reminiscent of the popular ballads which flourished ten or more years ago. Triteness is the cardinal defect, for each genuine image is what our discerning private critic Mr. Moe would call a "rubber-stamp" phrase. Mr. Crowley requires a rigorous course of reading among the classic poets of our language, and a careful study of their art as a guide to the development of his taste. At present his work has about it a softness bordering on effeminacy, which leads us to believe that his conception of the poet's art is rather imperfect. It is only in caricature that we discover the poet as a sighing, long-haired scribbler of gushing flights of infantile awe or immature adoration. Earnestness, dignity, and at times, sonorous stateliness, become a good poet; and such thoughts as are generally suggested by the confirmed use of "Oh", "Ah", "dear", "little", "pretty", "darling", "sweetest flow'ret of all", "where the morning-glory twineth", and so on, belong less to literary poetry than to the Irving Berlin song-writing industry of "Tin Pan Alley" in the Yiddish wilds of New York City. Mr. Crowley has energy of no mean sort, and if he will apply himself assiduously to the cultivation of masculine taste and technic, he can achieve a place of prominence among United bards.
W. S. Harrison deserves a word of praise for his poem of Nature, entitled "Our Milder Clime", wherein he celebrates the charms of Mississippi, his native state. The lines contain an old-fashioned grace too often wanting in contemporary verse. Other contributions to Ole Miss' are Mrs. Maude K. Barton's "Something of Natchez", a very interesting descriptive sketch in prose, and Dr. Rolfe Hunt's two negro dialect pieces, both of which are of inimitable wit and cleverness.
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The Pippin for February is the first number of this important high-school journal to be issued without the supervision of Mr. Moe, and its excellence well attests the substantial independent merit of the Appleton Club. The city of Appleton forms the dominant theme in this number, and with the assistance of seven attractive half-tone illustrations, the publication well displays the beauty and advantages of the pleasant Wisconsin town. Miss Eleanor Halls cleverly weaves into conversational form much information concerning the remote history of Appleton, emphasizing the superior character resulting from the select quality of the settlers, and the early introduction of learning. Mr. Alfred Galpin surprises many readers when he reveals the fact that Appleton possessed the first of all telephone systems, a surprise quickly followed by Mr. Joseph Harriman's illustrated paragraph telling of the first street-car, also an Appleton innovation. Among other articles, that by Miss Torrey on Lawrence College is of unusual interest. "The Immortalization of the Princess", by Miss Fern Sherman, is an excellent Indian tale, whose structure and atmosphere well suggest not only the characteristic tribal legends of the red folk, but other and more classical myths as well. Though Miss Sherman is not yet a member of the United, one of such gifts would be heartily welcomed in the ranks.
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The Plainsman for December is the most substantial number of his journal which Mr. Ira Cole has yet issued. First in order of importance among the contents is perhaps the editor's own prose sketch entitled "Monuments", wherein Mr. Cole reveals to particular advantage his exceptional skill in depicting and philosophizing upon the various aspects and phenomena of Nature. Mr. Cole's style is constantly improving, though not now of perfect polish, it is none the less remarkable for its grace and fluency. "To Florence Shepphird", also by Mr. Cole, is a rather long piece of blank verse, containing many beautiful passages. The author's skill in stately and sonorous poetry is far above the common level, and his work has about it an atmosphere of the polished past which that of most amateur bards lacks; yet the present poem is not without errors. The passage (lines 10-11) reading: "calm days that knoweth not dread Boreas' chilling breath" must be changed so that either the noun shall be singular or the verb plural. The double negative in line 23 might well be eliminated. Two lines whose metre could be improved are the 13th and 50th. The final quatrain is pleasing to the average ear, including that of the present critic; though the very exact taste of today, as represented by Mr. Kleiner, frowns upon such deviation from the dominant blank verse arrangement. "On the Cowboys of the West" is a brief bit of verse by this reviewer, accompanied by a note from the pen of Mr. Cole. The note is better than the verse, and exhibits Mr. Cole's vivid and imaginative prose at its best. "The Sunflower", a versified composition by James Laurence Crowley, concludes the issue. There is much attractiveness in the lines; though we may discover particularly in the second stanza, that touch of excessive softness which occasionally mars Mr. Crowley's work. No one can fail to discern the weakness of such a line as "You big giant of all the flowers".
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The Providence Amateur for February is worthy of particular attention on account of Mr. Peter J. MacManus' absorbing article on "The Irish and the Fairies". Mr. MacManus firmly believes not only that fairies exist in his native Ireland, but that he has actually beheld a troop of them; facts which impart to this article a psychological as well as a literary interest. The prose style of Mr. MacManus is very good, being notable alike for fluency and freedom from slang, whilst his taste is of the best. His future work will be eagerly awaited by the amateur public. Edmund L. Shehan contributed both verse and prose to this issue. "Death" is a stately poem on a grave subject, whose sentiments are all of suitable humility and dignity. The apparently anomalous pronoun "her", in the tenth line, is a misprint for "he". The piece ends with a rhyming couplet, to which Mr. Kleiner, representing correct modern taste, takes marked exception. The present reviewer, however, finds no reason to object to any part of Mr. Shehan's poem, and attributes this concluding couplet to the influence of similar Shakespearian terminations. The prose piece by Mr. Shehan well describes a visit to a cinematograph studio, and is entitled "The Making of a Motion Picture". In the verses entitled "A Post-Christmas Lament", Mr. John T. Dunn combines much keenness of wit with commendable regularity of metre. Mr. Dunn is among the cleverest of the United's humorous writers. "To Charlie of the Comics" is a harmless parody on our Laureate's excellent poem "To Mary of the Movies", which appeared some time ago in The Piper. In "The Bride of the Sea", Mr. Lewis Theobald, Jr., presents a rather weird piece of romantic sentimentality of the sort afforded by bards of the early nineteenth century. The metre is regular, and no flagrant violations of grammatical or rhetorical precepts are to be discerned, yet the whole effort lacks clearness, dignity, inspiration, and poetic spontaneity. The word printed "enhanc'd" in the sixth stanza is properly "entranc'd".
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Tom Fool, Le Roi bears no definite date, but is a sort of pensive autumn reverie following the Rocky Mount convention of last summer. This grave and dignified journal is credited to the House of Tillery, and if typographical evidence may be accepted, it belongs most particularly to that branch now bearing the name of Renshaw and having its domain in Coffeeville, Mississippi. "Mother Gooseries from the Convention", by Emilie C. Holladay, is a long stanzaic and Pindaric ode, whose taste and technic are alike impeccable. The exalted images are sketched with artistic touch, whilst the deep underlying philosophy, skillfully clothed in well balanced lines, arouses a sympathetic reaction from every cultural intellect. "The Carnival", by Mrs. E. L. Whitehead, is an admirable example of stately descriptive prose mixed with aesthetic verse. The long and euphonious periodic sentences suggest the style of Gibbon or of Dr. Johnson, whilst the occasional metrical lines remind the reviewer of Dr. Young's solemn "Night Thoughts". "Dummheit", by Dora M. Hepner, is a grave discourse on Original Sin, describing the planning of Tom Fool, Le Roi. Elizabeth M. Ballou's article entitled "Our Absent Friend" forms a notable contribution to amateur historical annals, and displays Miss Ballou as the possessor of a keen faculty for observation, and a phenomenally analytical intellect. "Banqueters from the Styx", Mrs. Renshaw's masterly description of the convention dinner and its honoured guests from the regions of Elysium and elsewhere, reminds the reviewer of the 11th book of the Odyssey and the 6th book of the Aeneid, wherein the fraternizing of men with the shades of men is classically delineated.
Tom Fool is a memorable publication, suggesting the old "fraternal" papers, whose passing so many amateurs regret.
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THE UNITED AMATEUR for November contains besides the official matter a small but select assortment of poems, prominent among which is "The Meadow Cricket", by Jas. T. Pyke. It is impossible to overestimate the beauty of thought and expression which Mr. Pyke shows in all his verses, and the United is fortunate in being able to secure specimens of his work.
"Remorse", by James Laurence Crowley, is one of the best samples of this gentleman's poesy which we have yet seen, though Mr. Crowley insists that one of the punctuation marks has been wrongfully located by the reviser. Since the present critic prepared the manuscript for publication, he is willing to assume full culpability for this crime. There is genuine poetic feeling in this short piece; and it seems an undoubted fact that Mr. Crowley with a little added restraint and dignity of expression, is capable of producing excellent work. "List to the Sea", by Winifred V. Jordan, is a delightfully musical lyric, whose dancing dactyls and facile triple rhymes captivate alike the fancy and the ear. "The Wind and the Beggar", by Maude K. Barton, is sombre and powerful. "Ambition", by William de Ryee, is regular in metre and commendable in sentiment, yet not exactly novel or striking in inspiration. "Choose ye", by Ella C. Eckert, is a moral poem of clever conception and correct construction.
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The United Official Quarterly for January opens with "A Prayer for the New Year", by Frederick R. Chenault. Mr. Chenault is a poet of the first order so far as inspiration is concerned, but his work is frequently marred by irregularity of metre, and the use of assonance in place of rhyme. The metre of this poem is correct, but the two attempted rhymes "deeper-meeker" and "supremely-sincerely" are technically no more than assonant sounds. Pres. Fritter writes very powerfully on our publishing situation in this number; and his article should not only be perused with attention, but heeded with sincerity and industriousness.
"Behind the Canvas Wall", by William J. Dowdell, is one of the cleverest and most ingenious bits of fiction which the amateur press has contained for some time. That it is of a nature not exactly novel is but a trivial objection. The homely, appealing plot, and the simple, sympathetic treatment, both point to Mr. Dowdell as a possible success in the realm of short story writing, should he ever care to enter it seriously. Another excellent tale is "The Good Will of a Dog", by P. J. Campbell. The plot is of a well defined type which always pleases, whilst the incidents are graphically delineated. "The Bookstall" is a metrical monstrosity by the present reviewer. Mr. Maurice W. Moe, the distinguished Private Critic, lately gave us the following opinion of our verse. "You are," he writes, "steeped in the poetry of a certain age; an age, by the way, which cut and fit its thought with greater attention to one model than any other age before or since; and the result is that when you turn to verse as a medium of expression, it is just as if you were pressing a button liberating a perfect flood of these perfectly good but stereotyped formulae of expression. The result is very ingenious, but just because it is such a skillful mosaic of Georgian 'rubber-stamp' phrases, it must ever fall short of true art." Mr. Moe is correct. We have, in fact, heard this very criticism reiterated by various authorities ever since those prehistoric days when we began to lisp in numbers. Yet somehow we perversely continue to "mosaic" along in the same old way! But then, we have never claimed to possess "true art"; we are merely a metrical mechanic. "A New Point of View In Home Economics", a clever article by Miss Eleanor Barnhart, concludes the Official Quarterly proper.
But the New Member supplement, with its profusion of brilliant credentials, yet remains to be considered. "Dutch Courage", by Louis E. Boutwell, is a liquorish sketch whose scene is laid in a New Jersey temple of Bacchus. Being totally unacquainted with the true saloon atmosphere, we find ourself a little embarrassed as to critical procedure, yet we may justly say that the characters are all well drawn, every man in his humor.
"Ol' Man Murdock" is a quaint, and in two senses an absorbing, figure. The rest of the issue is given over to the Muses of poesy. "The Saturday Fray" is a clever piece by Daisy Vandenbank. The rhyming is a little uneven, and in one case assonance is made to answer for true rhyme. "Cream" and "mean" cannot make an artistic couplet. "The Common Soldiers", by John W. Frazer, is a poem of real merit; whilst "Little Boy Blue", by W. Hume, is likewise effective. Mr. Hume's pathetic touch is fervent and in no manner betrays that weakness bordering on the ridiculous, to which less skillful flights of pathos are prone. "The Two Springs" is a pleasant moral sermon in verse by Margaret Ellen Cooper. Concluding the issue is "The Under Dog in the Fight", a vigorous philosophical poem by Andrew Stevenson.
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The Woodbee for January is distinguished by Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan's brilliant short poem entitled "Oh, Where is Springtime?" The sentiment of the piece is an universal one, and the pleasing lines will appeal to all. "Retribution", by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, is a clever story, but the present critic's extreme fondness for cats makes it difficult to review after reading the first sentence. However, the well-approached conclusion is indeed just. The "moral" is a pathetic example of unregeneracy! Miss Edna M. Haughton's critical article is direct and discerning; the Woodbee Club is fortunate in having among its members so capable a reviewer. Editor Fritter likewise mounts the reviewer's throne in this issue, proceeding first of all to demolish our own fond dream of yesterday; The Conservative. Looking backward down the dim vista of those bygone but memory-haunted days of October, 1915, when we perpetrated the horribly plainspoken and frightfully ungentle number whereof Mr. Fritter treats, we are conscious of our manifold sins, and must beg the pardon of the liquor interests for shouting so rudely in the cause of total abstinence. Pres. Fritter's critical style is a good one, and is developing from month to month. His advocacy of lukewarmness in writing is perhaps not so complete as one might judge from this article; though his use of the cautious phrase "it is rumored" in connection with a well known statement seems hardly necessary. Rigid impartiality, the critic's greatest asset, is manifest throughout the review, and we thoroughly appreciate the favorable mention not infrequently accorded us. In passing upon the merits of Dowdell's Bearcat, Mr. Fritter shows equal penetration and perspicuity, and we are convinced that his rank amongst amateur reviewers is very high.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, Chairman.
THE UNITED AMATEUR
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE UNITED AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION
VOLUME XV GEORGETOWN, ILL., JUNE, 1916 NUMBER 11
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
The Coyote for July opens with Harry E. Rieseberg's verses entitled "The Sum of Life", whose structure is excellent as a whole, though defective in certain places. The word "mirage" is properly accented on the second syllable, hence is erroneously situated in the first stanza. "A mirage forever seeming" is a possible substitute line. Other defects are the attempted rhymes of "decay" with "constancy", "carried" with "hurried", and "appalled" with "all". The metre is without exception correct, and the thoughts and images in general well presented, wherefore we believe that with a little more care Mr. Rieseberg can become a very pleasing poet indeed. "The Philippine Question", by Earl Samuel Harrington, aged 15, is an excellent juvenile essay, and expresses a very sound opinion concerning our Asiatic colonies. It is difficult to be patient with the political idiots who advocate the relinquishment of the archipelago by the United States, either now or at any future time. The mongrel natives, in whose blood the Malay strain predominates, are not and never will be racially capable of maintaining a civilized condition by themselves. "How Fares the Garden Rose?" is a poem bearing the signature of Winifred Virginia Jordan, which is a sufficient guarantee of its thorough excellence. "To a Breeze", also by Mrs. Jordan, is distinguished by striking imagery, and displays in the epithet "moon-moored", that highly individualistic touch which is characteristic of its author. "Peace", by Andrew Francis Lockhart, is a poem of excellent construction, though marred by two serious misprints which destroy the harmony of the first and third lines.
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The Dixie Booster for March-April is an exceedingly neat and clever paper from the House of Nixon. "Spring in the South", a poem by Maude K. Barton, opens the issue in pleasant fashion, the attractive images well atoning for certain slight mechanical deficiencies. "Dick's Success", by Gladys L. Bagg, is a short story whose phraseology exhibits considerable talent and polish. The didactic element is possibly more emphasized than the plot, though not to a tedious extent. Whether or not a rough draft of a novel may be completed in the course of a single afternoon, a feat described in this tale, we leave for the fiction-writing members of the United to decide! Of the question raised regarding the treatment of the Indian by the white man in America it is best to admit in the words of Sir Roger de Coverly, "that much might be said on both sides". Whilst the driving back of the aborigines has indeed been ruthless and high-handed, it seems the destiny of the Anglo-Saxon to sweep inferior races from his path wherever he goes. There are few who love the Indian so deeply that they would wish this continent restored to its original condition, peopled by savage nomads instead of civilized colonists. "The Deuce and Your Add", by Melvin Ryder, is a bit of light philosophy whose allegorical case is well maintained. "To a Warbler", by Roy W. Nixon, is a meritorious piece of verse whose rhythm moves with commendable sprightliness, though the first line of the first stanza might be made to correspond better with the first line of the second stanza. The word "apparent" in the last line, seems a little unsuited to the general style of the poem, being more suggestive of the formal type of composition. "Grandma", also by Mr. Roy Nixon, is a noble sonnet whose quality foreshadows real poetical distinction for its author. "You", by Dora M. Hepner, contains sublime images, but possesses metrical imperfections. The general anapaestic or dactylic rhythm is much disturbed by the iambic fourth line of the first stanza. The editorials, jokes, and jingles in this issue are all clever, and proclaim Mr. Raymond Nixon as a capable and discriminating editor.
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Literary Buds for February exhibits the amateurs of Harvey, Illinois, after a long absence from the publishing arena. The present issue, edited by Mr. Caryl Wilson Dempesy, contains matter of merit and interest. "The Dells of the Wisconsin", by A. Myron Lambert, is an interesting account of an outing spent amidst scenes of natural grandeur and beauty. The author's style is fluent and pleasing, though a few slight crudities are to be discerned. On page 1, where the height of a large dam is mentioned, it is stated "that the water must raise that distance before it can fall". Of course, "rise" is the verb which should have been used. Another erroneous phrase is "nature tract". "Nature" is not an adjective, but a noun; "natural" is the correct word. However, this anomalous use of nouns for adjectives has only too much prevalence amongst all grades of writers today, and must not be too harshly censured in this case. On page 4 the word "onto" should be supplanted by "upon", and the awkward phrase: "to be convinced that we had ventured to a place that we did not know any dangers were connected with", should be changed to something like this: "to convince us that we had ventured to a seemingly dangerous place whose apparent dangers we had not then noticed". "A Song of Love", by Editor Dempesy, is cast in uniformly flowing and regular metre, but some of the words require comment. "Lover" is not generally applied by bards to adored members of the gentler sex, "love" being the conventional term. Likewise, the phrase "heart which always softly does its beating" might well be revised with greater attention to poetical precedent. Yet the whole is of really promising quality, and exhibits a metrical correctness much above the average. "The Operation" is a very witty sketch by Miss Clara I. Stalker, with a sudden turn toward the end which arouses the complete surprise and unexpected mirth of the reader. "The High Cost of Flivving", by Albert Thompson, is a bright bit of versified humour involving novel interpretations of certain technical terms of literature. The swinging dactylic rhythm is well managed except where the words "descending" and "ascending" occur, and where, in line 24, the metre becomes momentarily anapaestic.
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The Looking Glass for May is the final number of Mrs. Renshaw's journal of introductions, and makes known to the association a group of 27 new members. One of the most interesting autobiographies is that of Mr. J. E. Hoag of Greenwich, New York, whose friendly sentences, written from the cumulative experience of 85 years of life, possess an elusively captivating quality. Of the non-biographical matter in this issue, Mrs. Renshaw's compilation entitled "Writing for Profit" deserves particular perusal. This is well set off by the same author's colloquial lines, "Pride O' The Pen", wherein the lethal taint of trade in literature is effectively deplored. "Something", by David H. Whittier, is a thoughtful analysis of conditions in the United, with suggestions for improvement. "One Bright Star Enough For Me", by Mr. John Hartman Oswald of Texas, is a pious poem reminding one of Mr. Addison's well known effort which begins: "The spacious firmament on high". We doubt, however, if Mr. Addison has been much improved upon, since several instances of imperfect poetical taste are to be found in Mr. Oswald's lines. But there are evidences of a great soul throughout the ten stanzas, and the metre is in the main correct. What Mr. Oswald appears to require is a thorough reading of the English classics, with minute attention to their phraseology and images. With such study we believe him capable of development into a poet of enviable force and sincerity.
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Toledo Amateur for April marks the welcome reappearance of Mr. Wesley H. Porter's neat little journal after a year's absence. "A Story", by David H. Whittier, possesses a tragical plot whose interest is slightly marred by triteness and improbable situations. Of the latter we must point out the strained coincidence whereby four distinct things, proceeding from entirely unrelated causes, give rise to the final denouement. The culmination of the aged father's resolve to kill his enemy, the conditions which make possible the return of the son, the presence of the enemy's hat and coat under the wayside tree, and the storm which prompts the son to don these garments, are all independent circumstances, whose simultaneous occurrence, each at exactly the proper time to cause the catastrophe, may justly be deemed a coincidence too great for the purpose of good literature. In an artistically constructed tale, the various situations all develop naturally out of that original cause which in the end brings about the climax; a principle which, if applied to the story in question, would limit the events and their sequences to those arising either directly or indirectly from the wrong committed by the father's enemy. Since there is no causative connection between the immediate decision of the father to kill his foe, and the developments or discoveries which enable the son to return, the simultaneous occurrence of these unusual things is scarcely natural. Superadded to this coincidence are two more extraneous events; the rather strange presence of the hat and coat near the road, and the timely or untimely breaking of the storm, the improbability indeed increasing in geometrical progression with each separate circumstance. It must, however, be admitted that such quadruple coincidences in stories are by no means uncommon among even the most prominent and widely advertised professional fiction-blacksmiths of the day. Mr. Whittier's style is that of a careful and sincere scholar, and we believe that his work will become notable in this and the succeeding amateur journalistic generation. The minuteness of the preceding criticism has been prompted not by a depreciatory estimate of his powers, but rather by an appreciative survey of his possibilities. "Say, Brother", by Mrs. Renshaw, is a poem describing life in the trenches of the Huns. The metre is quite regular, and the plan of rhyming but once broken. Mr. Porter's prose work; editorial, introductory, and narrative, is all pleasing, though, not wholly free from a certain slight looseness of scholarship. We should advise rigorous exercise in parsing and rhetoric. "Respite", by Edgar Ralph Cheyney, shows real poetical genius, and the iambic heptameters are very well handled, save where one redundant syllable breaks the flow of the last line. Even that would be perfect if the tongue could condense the noun and article "the music", into "th' music".
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The Tornado for April constitutes the publishing debut of Mrs. Addie L. Porter, mother of Toledo Amateur's gifted young editor. Mrs. Porter's "Recollections From Childhood" are pleasant and well phrased, bringing to mind very vividly the unrivalled joys of Christmas as experienced by the young. Wesley H. Porter, in "My Vacation", tells entertainingly of his visit to the hive of the Woodbees last September. The editorial and news paragraphs are all of attractive aspect, completing a bright paper whose four pages teem with enthusiasm and personality. It is to be hoped that other comparatively new United members may follow Mr. Porter's example in entering the publishing field; for individual journals, though of no greater size than this, are ever welcome, and do more than anything else to maintain interest and promote progress in the association.
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The Trail for April must by no means be confused with Alfred L. Hutchinson's professionalized magazine of identical title, for this Trail is an older and emphatically non-professional publication issued co-operatively by Dora M. Hepner and George W. Macauley. Non-professionalism, indeed, seems to dominate the entire issue to a degree unusual in the broadened and developed United. With the exception of one poem and one short story or sketch, the contents are wholly personal and social. "He Reached my Hand", by Dora M. Hepner, is an excellent piece of verse, though perhaps not of that extreme polish which is observed in the productions of very careful bards. Miss Hepner has great refinement of fancy and vigour of expression, but evidently neglects to cultivate that beautiful rhetoric and exquisite rhythmic harmony which impress us so forcibly in the work of scholars and bookmen like Rheinhart Kleiner. "A Girl of the U. S.", by George W. Macauley, is a prose piece whose nature seems to waver between that of a story and a descriptive sketch. Though description apparently preponderates, the narrative turn toward the conclusion may sanction classification as fiction. The faults are all faults of imperfect technique rather than of barren imagination, for Mr. Macauley wields a graphic pen, and adorns every subject he approaches. In considering minor points, we must remark the badly fractured infinitive "to no longer walk", and the unusual word "reliefful". We have never seen the latter expression before, and though it may possibly be a modernism in good usage, it was certainly unknown in the days when we attempted to acquire our education. Mr. Macauley, with his marked descriptive ability, is less at ease in stories of contemporary life than in historical fiction, particularly mediaeval and Oriental tales. His genius is not unlike that of Sir Walter Scott, and shows to especial advantage in annals of knights and chivalry. "Scratchings" are by the pen of Miss Hepner, and display an active wit despite the profusion of slang. It would seem, however, that so brilliant a writer could preserve the desired air of vivacity without quite so many departures from the standard idioms of our language.
Miss Hepner's remarks on the assimilation of new United members are worthy of note. The cruder amateurs should not feel discouraged by the extraordinary average scholarship of the recent element, but should rather use it as a model for improvement. They should establish correspondence with the cultivated recruits, thereby not only benefiting themselves, but helping each gifted newcomer to find a useful and congenial place amongst us. The present situation is pitifully ludicrous, for practically all young aspirants call upon only one or two sadly overburdened older members for literary aid, forgetting that there are scores of brilliant writers, teachers, and professors waiting anxiously but vainly to be of real service to their fellow-amateurs. Several of the scholarly new members have particularly inquired how they can best assist the association; yet the association, as represented by its literary novices, has failed to take advantage of most of these offers of instructions and co-operation. We are impelled here to reiterate the slogan which Mr. Daas has so frequently printed in his various journals: "Welcome the Recruits!". Such a welcome is certain to react with double felicity upon the giver.
"From the Michigan Trail" is Mr. Macauley's personal column, and contains so bitter an attack on some of the United's policies of improvement, that we are tempted to remonstrate quite loudly. The captious criticism of the Second Vice-President's invaluable activities, constructive labours which have practically regenerated the association and raised it to a higher plane in the world of educational endeavour, is positively ungenerous. To speak of the article in Ole Miss' entitled "Manuscripts and Silver" as "mercenary", is the summit of injustice, for it was nothing more or less than the absolutely gratuitous offer to the United of what is now the Symphony Literary Service. We are rather at a loss to divine Mr. Macauley's precise notion of amateur journalism. He speaks of it as a "tarn", but we cannot believe he would have it so stagnant a thing as that name implies. Surely, the United is something greater than a superficial fraternal order composed of mediocre and unambitious dabblers. Progress leads toward the outside world of letters, and to cavil at work such as Mrs. Renshaw's is to set obstacles in the path of progress. Professional literary success on the part of amateur journalists can never react unfavorably on the United, and it seems far from kind and proper to impede the development of members. Why is a professional author necessarily less desirable as an amateur journalist than a professional plumber or boiler-maker? But there is one sound principle at the base of Mr. Macauley's argument, which deserves more emphasis than the points he elaborates. Professionalism must not enter into the workings of the association, nor should the professionalized amateur take advantage of amateur connexions to create a market for writings otherwise unsalable. This applies to the now happily extinct tribe of "ten-cents-a-year" publishers, who coolly expected all amateur journalists to subscribe to their worthless misprints as a matter of fraternal obligation. Mr. Macauley is an extremist on the subject of amateur rating, a fact which explains many otherwise puzzling allusions in his current editorials.
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THE UNITED AMATEUR for February is the final number of the Daas regime, and constitutes a noble valedictory indeed. We find it impossible to express with sufficient force our regret at the withdrawal of Mr. Daas from the United, and we can but hope that the retirement may prove merely temporary. The February official organ is wholly literary in contents, and in quality sustains the best traditions of amateur journalism. Miss Olive G. Owen's poem, "Give us Peace!", which opens the issue, is tasteful in imagery and phraseology, and correct in rhyme and metre, but contains the customary unrealities and substitutions of emotion for reasoning which are common to all pacific propaganda. "The Little Old Lady's Dream", by M. Almedia Bretholl, is a short story of the almost unpleasantly "realistic" type, whose development and atmosphere exhibit much narrative talent and literary skill. "The Teuton's Battle-Song" is an attempt of the present critic to view the principles of human warfare without the hypocritical spectacles of sentimentality. "Nature in Literature", by Arthur W. Ashby, is an essay of unusual quality, revealing a depth of well assimilated scholarship and a faculty for acute observation and impartial analysis, of which few amateur writers may justly boast. "His All", is an excellent poem by Mrs. Ella Colby Eckert, distinguished equally for its noble thought and facile rhythm. "'Twixt the Red and the White", a short story by Miss Coralie Austin, displays marked skill in construction and phraseology, though its development is not without a few of the typical crudities of youthful work. There is a trifling suspicion of triteness and banality in plot and dialogue; which is, however, compensated for in the artistic passages so frequently encountered. "Romance, Mystery, and Art", an essay by Edgar Ralph Cheyney, reflects the learning and thoughtfulness of its author. The poetical fragments entitled "Songs from Walpi", by Mrs. Winifred V. Jordan, describe the hopeless affection of a Southwestern Indian prince for a maiden of the conquering white race. The atmosphere and images are cleverly wrought, whilst the rhythm is in every detail satisfactory. "Nescio Quo", by Kathleen Baldwin, is a poem of great attractiveness both in structure and sentiment. "A Crisis", by Eleanor J. Barnhart, is a short story of distinctly modern type, whose substance and development compare well with professional work. "My Heart and I", a sonnet by James T. Pyke, exhibits the skill and philosophical profundity characteristic of its author. "My Native Land", a poem by Adam Dickson, describes the Scottish Border with pleasing imagery and bounding anapaestic metre. Mr. Dickson is a poet whose progress should be carefully watched. His improvement is steady, the present piece being easily the best specimen of his work to appear in the amateur press. "Poetry and its Power", by Helen M. Woodruff, is a delightful essay containing liberal quotations from various classic bards. "A Resolution", by Harry Z. Moore, seems to be modelled after Mrs. Renshaw's well known poem, "A Symphony". The various precepts are without exception sound and commendable. Helene E. Hoffman presents a brief but pleasing critique of Sir Thomas Browne's "Hydriotaphia, Urn-Burial; or a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns lately found in Norfolk". It is refreshing to discover a modern reader who can still appreciate the quaint literature of the seventeenth century, and Miss Hoffman is to be thanked for her sympathetic review of the pompous, Latinised phrases of the old physician. "He and She", by Margaret A. Richard, is a thoroughly meritorious poem whose two "allowable rhymes", "fair-dear", and "head-prayed", would be censured only by a critic of punctilious exactitude. "At Sea", a witty bit of vers de societe by Henry Cleveland Wood, forms an appropriately graceful conclusion to a richly enjoyable issue of the magazine.