Italic text has been marked by underscores, whilst bold text appears as bold. The following table of contents has been added for convenience:
United Amateur Press Association: Exponent of Amateur Journalism 4
The United Amateur, January 1915 Department of Public Criticism 7
The United Amateur, March 1915 Department of Public Criticism 10 March 14
The United Amateur, May 1915 Department of Public Criticism 15
The United Amateur, September 1915 Department of Public Criticism 21 Little Journeys to the Homes of Prominent Amateurs 31
The United Amateur, February 1916 The Teuton's Battle-Song 33
The United Amateur, April 1916 Department of Public Criticism 35
The United Amateur, June 1916 Department of Public Criticism 42 The Poetry of the Month: Content 49
The United Amateur, August 1916 Department of Public Criticism 50
The United Amateur, September 1916 Department of Public Criticism 54
The United Amateur, November 1916 The Alchemist 61
The United Amateur, March 1917 Department of Public Criticism 65
The United Amateur, May 1917 Department of Public Criticism 71
The United Amateur, July 1917 Ode for July Fourth, 1917 80 Department of Public Criticism 81 News Notes: To M. W. M. 84
The United Amateur, November 1917 A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson 84 Department of Public Criticism 87 Reports of Officers: President's Message 90
The United Amateur, January 1918 Reports of Officers: President's Message 91
The United Amateur, March 1918 Reports of Officers: President's Message 92
The United Amateur, May 1918 Sunset 92 Department of Public Criticism 93 Reports of Officers: President's Message 98
The United Amateur, June 1918 Astrophobos 99
The United Amateur, July 1918 At the Root 100 Reports of Officers: President's Message 101
The United Amateur, November 1918 Department of Literature: The Literature of Rome 102 To Alan Seeger 106
The United Amateur, January 1919 Theodore Roosevelt 107
The United Amateur, March 1919 A Note on Howard P. Lovecraft's Verse 108 Official Reports: Department of Public Criticism 109
The United Amateur, May 1919 Helene Hoffman Cole—Litterateur 113
The United Amateur, July 1919 Americanism 114
The United Amateur, November 1919 The White Ship 115 To Mistress Sophia Simple, Queen of the Cinema 118
The United Amateur, January 1920 Literary Composition 119
The United Amateur, May 1920 For What Does the United Stand? 123
The United Amateur, September 1920 Poetry and the Gods 124
The United Amateur, November 1920 Nyarlathotep 128 Editorial 129 Official Organ Fund 130
The United Amateur, January 1921 Official Organ Fund 130
The United Amateur, March 1921 Winifred Virginia Jackson: A "Different" Poetess 130 Ex Oblivione 134 Official Organ Fund 134
The United Amateur, September 1921 The United Amateur 135 Editorial 136
The United Amateur, November 1921 The United Amateur 138 Official Organ Fund 138
The United Amateur, January 1922 The United Amateur 139 Editorial 139
The United Amateur, March 1922 Official Organ Fund 140
The United Amateur, May 1922 Official Organ Fund 140 At the Home of Poe 140
THE UNITED AMATEUR
United Amateur Press Association
EXPONENT OF AMATEUR JOURNALISM
The desire to write for publication is one which inheres strongly in every human breast. From the proficient college graduate, storming the gates of the high-grade literary magazines, to the raw schoolboy, vainly endeavoring to place his first crude compositions in the local newspapers, the whole intelligent public are today seeking expression through the printed page, and yearning to behold their thoughts and ideals permanently crystallized in the magic medium of type. But while a few persons of exceptional talent manage eventually to gain a foothold in the professional world of letters rising to celebrity through the wide diffusion of their art, ideals, or opinions; the vast majority, unless aided in their education by certain especial advantages, are doomed to confine their expression to the necessarily restricted sphere of ordinary conversation. To supply these especial educational advantages which may enable the general public to achieve the distinction of print, and which may prevent the talented but unknown author from remaining forever in obscurity, has arisen that largest and foremost of societies for literary education The United Amateur Press Association.
Amateur journalism, or the composition and circulation of small, privately printed magazines, is an instructive diversion which has existed in the United States for over half a century. In the decade of 1866-1876 this practice first became an organized institution; a short-lived society of amateur journalists, including the now famous publisher, Charles Scribner, having existed from 1869 to 1874. In 1876 a more lasting society was formed, which exists to this day as an exponent of light dilettantism. Not until 1895, however, was amateur journalism established as a serious branch of educational endeavour. On September 2nd of that year, Mr. William H. Greenfield, a gifted professional author, of Philadelphia, founded The United Amateur Press Association, which has grown to be the leader of its kind, and the representative of amateur journalism in its best phases throughout the English-speaking world.
In many respects the word "amateur" fails to do full credit to amateur journalism and the association which best represents it. To some minds the term conveys an idea of crudity and immaturity, yet the United can boast of members and publications whose polish and scholarship are well-nigh impeccable. In considering the adjective "amateur" as applied to the press association, we must adhere to the more basic interpretation, regarding the word as indicating the non-mercenary nature of the membership. Our amateurs write purely for love of their art, without the stultifying influence of commercialism. Many of them are prominent professional authors in the outside world, but their professionalism never creeps into their association work. The atmosphere is wholly fraternal, and courtesy takes the place of currency.
The real essential of amateur journalism and The United Amateur Press Association is the amateur paper or magazine, which somewhat resembles the average high-school or college publication. These journals, varying greatly in size and character, are issued by various members at their own expense, and contain, besides the literary work of their several editors or publishers, contributions from all the many members who do not publish papers of their own. Their columns are open to every person in the association, and it may be said with justice that no one will find it impossible to secure the publication of any literary composition of reasonable brevity. The papers thus published are sent free to all our many members, who constitute a select and highly appreciative reading public. Since each member receives the published work of every other member, many active and brilliant minds are brought into close contact, and questions of every sort, literary, historical, and scientific, are debated both in the press and in personal correspondence. The correspondence of members is one of the most valuable features of the United, for through this medium a great intellectual stimulus, friendly and informal in nature, is afforded. Congenial members are in this way brought together in a lettered companionship, which often grows into life-long friendship, while persons of opposed ideas may mutually gain much breadth of mind by hearing the other side of their respective opinions discussed in a genial manner. In short, the United offers an exceptionally well-proportioned mixture of instruction and fraternal cheer. There are no limits of age, sex, education, position, or locality in this most complete of democracies. Boys and girls of twelve and men and women of sixty, parents and their sons and daughters, college professors and grammar-school pupils, aristocrats and intelligent labourers, Easterners and Westerners, are here given equal advantages, those of greater education helping their cruder brethren until the common fund of culture is as nearly level as it can be in any human organization. Members are classified according to age; "A" meaning under sixteen, "B" from 16 to 21, and "C" over 21. The advantages offered to those of limited acquirements are immense, many persons having gained practically all their literary polish through membership in the United. A much cherished goal is professional authorship or editorship, and numerous indeed are the United members who have now become recognized authors, poets, editors, and publishers. True, though trite, is the saying that amateur journalism is an actual training school for professional journalism.
ITS PUBLISHING ACTIVITIES
Members of the United may or may not publish little papers of their own. This is a matter of choice, for there are always enough journals to print the work of the non-publishing members. Youths who possess printing presses will find publishing an immense but inexpensive pleasure, whilst other publishers may have their printing done at very reasonable rates by those who do own presses. The favorite size for amateur papers is 5x7 inches, which can be printed at 55 or 60 cents per page, each page containing about 250 words. Thus a four-page issue containing 1000 words can be published for less than $2.50, if arrangements are made, as is often the case, for its free mailing with any other paper. Certain of the more pretentious journals affect the 7x10 size, which costs about $1.60 for each page of 700 words. These figures allow for 250 copies, the most usual number to be mailed. Mr. E. E. Ericson of Elroy, Wisconsin, is our Official Printer, and his work is all that the most fastidious could demand. Other printers may be found amongst the young men who print their own papers. In many cases they can quote very satisfactory prices. Two or more members may issue a paper co-operatively, the individual expense then being very slight.
ITS CONTRIBUTED LITERATURE
The United welcomes all literary contributions; poems, stories, and essays, which the various members may submit. However, contribution is by no means compulsory, and in case a member finds himself too busy for activity, he may merely enjoy the free papers which reach him, without taxing himself with literary labour. For those anxious to contribute, every facility is provided. In some cases negotiations are made directly between publisher and contributor, but the majority are accommodated by the two Manuscript Bureaus, Eastern and Western, which receive contributions in any quantity from the non-publishing members, and are drawn upon for material by those who issue papers. These bureaus practically guarantee on the one hand to find a place for each member's manuscript, and on the other hand to keep each publisher well supplied with matter for his journal.
ITS CRITICAL DEPARTMENTS
The two critical departments of the United are at present the most substantial of its various educational advantages. The Department of Private Criticism is composed exclusively of highly cultured members, usually professors or teachers of English, who practically mould the taste of the whole association, receiving and revising before publication the work of all who choose to submit it to them. The service furnished free by this department is in every way equal to that for which professional critical bureaus charge about two dollars. Manuscripts are carefully corrected and criticised in every detail, and authors are given comprehensive advice designed to elevate their taste, style, and grammar. Many a crude but naturally gifted writer has been developed to polished fluency and set on the road to professional authorship through the United's Department of Private Criticism.
The Department of Public Criticism reviews thoroughly and impartially the various printed papers and their contents, offering precepts and suggestions for improvement. Its reports are printed in the official organ of the association, and serve as a record of our literary achievement.
ITS LITERARY AWARDS
To encourage excellence amongst the members of the United, annual honours or "laureateships" are awarded the authors of the best poems, stories, essays, or editorials. Participation in these competitions is not compulsory, since they apply only to pieces which have been especially "entered for laureateship." The entries are judged not by the members of the association, but by highly distinguished litterateurs of the professional world, selected particularly for the occasion. Our latest innovation is a laureateship for the best home-printed paper, which will excite keen rivalry among our younger members, and bring out some careful specimens of the typographical art. Besides the laureateships there are other honours and prizes awarded by individual publishers within the United, many of the amateur journals offering excellent books for the best stories, reviews, or reports submitted to them.
ITS OFFICIAL ORGAN
The association, as a whole, publishes a voluminous 7x10 monthly magazine called The United Amateur, which serves as the official organ. In this magazine may be found the complete revised list of members, the reports of officers and committees, the ample reviews issued by the Department of Public Criticism, a selection of the best contemporary amateur literature, together with the latest news of amateur journalists and their local clubs from all over the Anglo-Saxon world. The United Amateur is published by an annually elected Official Editor, and printed by the Official Publisher. It is sent free to all members of the association.
The United Amateur Press Association is governed by a board of officers elected by popular vote. The elections take place at the annual conventions, where amateurs from all sections meet and fraternize. Those who attend vote in person, whilst all others send in proxy ballots. There is much friendly rivalry between cities concerning the selection of the convention seat each year. The principal elective officers of the United are the President, two Vice-Presidents, the Treasurer, the Official Editor and the three members of the Board of Directors. There are also a Historian, a Laureate Recorder, and two Manuscript Managers. Appointed by the President are the members of the two Departments of Criticism, the Supervisor of Amendments, the Official Publisher, and the Secretary of the association. All save Secretary and Official Publisher, serve without remuneration. The basic law of the United comprises an excellent Constitution and By-Laws.
ITS LOCAL CLUBS
The United encourages the formation of local literary or press clubs in cities or towns containing several members. These clubs generally publish papers, and hold meetings wherein the pleasures of literature are enlivened by those of the society. The most desirable form of club activity is that in which a high-school instructor forms a literary society of the more enthusiastic members of his class.
ITS PLACE IN EDUCATION
During the past two years, as it has approached and passed its twentieth birthday, the United has been endeavoring more strongly than ever to find and occupy its true place amongst the many and varied phases of education. That it discharges an unique function in literary culture is certain, and its members have of late been trying very actively to establish and define its relation to the high-school and the university. Mr. Maurice Winter Moe, Instructor of English at the Appleton High School, Appleton, Wisconsin, and one of our very ablest members, took the first decisive step by organizing his pupils into an amateur press club, using the United to supplement his regular class-room work. The scholars were delighted, and many have acquired a love of good literature which will never leave them. Three or four, in particular, have become prominent in the affairs of the United. After demonstrating the success of his innovation, Mr. Moe described it in The English Journal, his article arousing much interest in educational circles, and being widely reprinted by other papers. In November, 1914, Mr. Moe addressed an assemblage of English teachers in Chicago, and there created so much enthusiasm for the United, that scores of instructors have subsequently joined our ranks, many of them forming school clubs on the model of the original club at Appleton. Here, then, is one definite destiny for our association: to assist the teaching of advanced English in the high-school. We are especially eager for high-school material, teachers and pupils alike.
But there still remain a numerous class, who, though not connected with school or college, have none the less sincere literary aspirations. At present they are benefited immensely through mental contact with our more polished members, yet for the future we plan still greater aids for their development, by the creation of a systematic "Department of Instruction," which will, if successfully established, amount practically to a free correspondence school, and an "Authors' Placing Bureau," which will help amateurs in entering the professional field. Our prime endeavor is at present to secure members of high mental and scholastic quality, in order that the United may be strengthened for its increasing responsibility. Professors, teachers, clergymen, and authors have already responded in gratifying numbers to our wholly altruistic plea for their presence among us. The reason for the United's success as an educational factor seems to lie principally in the splendid loyalty and enthusiasm which all the members somehow acquire upon joining. Every individual is alert for the welfare of the association, and its activities form the subject of many of the current essays and editorials. The ceaseless writing in which most of the members indulge is in itself an aid to fluency, while the mutual examples and criticisms help on still further the pleasantly unconscious acquisition of a good literary style. When regular courses of instruction shall have been superimposed upon these things, the association can indeed afford to claim a place of honour in the world of education.
ITS ENTRANCE CONDITIONS
The only requirement for admission to the United is earnest literary aspiration. Any member will furnish the candidate for admission with an application blank, signed in recommendation. This application, filled out and forwarded to the Secretary of the association with the sum of fifty cents as dues for the first year, and accompanied by a "credential," or sample of the candidate's original literary work, will be acted upon with due consideration by the proper official. No candidate of real sincerity will be denied admittance, and the applicant will generally be soon rewarded by his certificate of membership, signed by the President and Secretary. Papers, letters, and postal cards of welcome will almost immediately pour in upon him, and he will in due time behold his credential in print. (Unless it be something already printed.) Once a member, his dues will be one dollar yearly, and if he should ever leave the United, later desiring to join again, his reinstatement fee will be one dollar.
The United Amateur Press Association is anything but local in its personnel. Its active American membership extends from Boston to Los Angeles, and from Milwaukee to Tampa, thus bringing all sections in contact, and representing every phase of American thought. Its English membership extends as far north as Newcastle-on-Tyne. Typical papers are published in England, California, Kansas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, District of Columbia, New York, and Rhode Island.
In writing for entrance blanks or for further information concerning the United, the applicant may address any one of the following officers, who will gladly give details, and samples of amateur papers: Leo Fritter, President, 503 Central National Bank Bldg., Columbus, Ohio; H. P. Lovecraft, Vice-President, 598 Angell St., Providence, R. I.; Mrs. J. W. Renshaw, Second Vice-President, Coffeeville, Miss.; William J. Dowdell, Secretary, 2428 East 66th St., Cleveland, Ohio; or Edward F. Daas, Official Editor, 1717 Cherry St., Milwaukee, Wis. Professional authors interested in our work are recommended to communicate with the Second Vice-President, while English teachers may derive expert information from Maurice W. Moe, 658 Atlantic St., Appleton, Wis. Youths who possess printing-presses are referred to the Secretary, who is himself a young typographer.
ITS PROVINCE SUMMARIZED
If you are a student of elementary English desirous of attaining literary polish in an enjoyable manner,
If you are an ordinary citizen, burning with the ambition to become an author,
If you are a solitary individual wishing for a better chance to express yourself,
If you own a printing-press and would like to learn how to issue a high-grade paper,
If you are a mature person eager to make up for a youthful lack of culture,
If you are a professor or teacher seeking a new method of interesting your English class, or
If you are an author or person of ripe scholarship, anxious to aid your cruder brothers on their way, then
YOU ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE UNITED AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, Vice-President.
THE UNITED AMATEUR
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE UNITED AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
VOLUME XIV GEORGETOWN, ILL., JANUARY, 1915. NUMBER 3
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
THE BADGER for January is the first number of a strikingly meritorious and serious paper published by George S. Schilling. We here behold none of the frivolity which spoils the writings of those who view amateur journalism merely as a passing amusement. The Badger shows evidence of careful and tasteful editorship, combined with a commendable artistic sense in choice of paper and cover.
The leading article, an essay on the minimum wage, is from the pen of the editor, and shows both literary ability and a sound knowledge of economics. "Sister to the Ox", by A. W. Ashby, is an excellent short story whose strength is rather in its moral than in its plot. The editorials are certainly not lacking in force, and seem well calculated to stir the average amateur from his torpor of triteness and inanity.
THE INSPIRATION for November is an "Official Number", containing the work of none but titled authors. Rheinhart Kleiner contributes the single piece of verse, a smooth and pleasing lyric entitled "Love Again", which is not unlike his previous poem, "Love, Come Again". As an amatory poet, Mr. Kleiner shows much delicacy of sentiment, refinement of language, and appreciation of metrical values; his efforts in this direction entitle him to a high place among amateur bards.
One of the truly notable prose features of the magazine is Walter John Held's delightful sketch of Joaquin Miller's home and haunts. This artistic picture of Californian scenery exhibits a real comprehension of the beauties of Nature, and stirs to an unusual degree the imagination of the reader. Mr. Held's prose possesses a fluency and grace that bring it close to the professional quality, and its few faults are far less considerable than might be expected from the pen of a young author. However, we must remark some rather awkward examples of grammatical construction. The correct plural of "eucalyptus" is "eucalypti", without any final "s", the name being treated as a Latin noun of the second declension. "Slowly and dignified—it pursues its way" is hardly a permissible clause; the adjective "dignified" must be exchanged for an adverb. Perhaps Mr. Held sought to employ poetical enallage, but even so, the adjective does not correspond with "slowly"; besides, the use of enallage in prose is at best highly questionable. "This free and rank flowers and brush" is another bad clause. But it is not well to dissect the sketch too minutely. A youth of Mr. Held's ability needs only time and continued practice to raise him to the highest rank in prose composition.
INVICTUS for January, the first number of Mr. Paul J. Campbell's new individual paper, is one of those rare journals concerning which it is almost impossible to speak without enthusiasm. Not one of its twenty-six pages fails to delight us. Foremost in merit, and most aptly suited to Mr. Campbell's particular type of genius, are the three inspiring essays, "The Impost of the Future", "The Sublime Ideal", and "Whom God Hath Put Asunder". Therein appears to great advantage the keen reasoning and sound materialistic philosophy of the author. "The Sublime Ideal" is especially absorbing, tracing as it does the expansion of the human mind from a state of the narrowest and most violent bigotry to its present moderate breadth.
The three pieces of verse, "Inspiration", "The Larger Life", and "Down in Mexico", are all of smooth construction and musical metre, though not exhibiting their author's powers as well as his essays. "Down in Mexico", a virile poem in Kipling's style, is unquestionably the best of the three.
Mr. Campbell's comments on amateur affairs are well-written and entertaining, especially his reminiscent article entitled "After Seven Years".
OUTWARD BOUND for January is an excellent journal edited by George William Stokes of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. It is gratifying to behold such a paper as this, one of the links between America and the parent country which the United is helping to forge.
Herbert B. Darrow opens the issue with a short story entitled "A Lesson". The tale is of conventional pattern, containing a sound though not strikingly original moral. The language is generally good, except in one sentence where the author speaks of "the vehicles in the street and buildings about him". Surely he does not mean that the vehicles were in the buildings as well as in the street. The use of the definite article before the word "buildings" would do much toward dispelling the ambiguous effect.
"The Haunted Forest", a poem by J. H. Fowler, is almost Poe-like in its grimly fantastic quality. We can excuse rather indefinite metre when we consider the admirably created atmosphere, the weird harmony of the lines, the judicious use of alliteration, and the apt selection of words. "Bird-shunned", as applied to the thickets of the forest, is a particularly graphic epithet. Mr. Fowler is to be congratulated upon his glowing imagination and poetical powers.
"A Bit o' Purple Heather", by Edna von der Heide, is a delightful piece of verse in modified Scottish dialect, which well justifies the dedication of the magazine to this poetess.
Mr. Stokes' editorial, headed "Ships that Pass", sustains the nautical atmosphere of his periodical. We wish he had given his thoughts a larger space for expression.
THE PIPER for December comes as a surprise to those who have known Rheinhart Kleiner only as a master of metre, for he is here displayed as the possessor of a pure and vigorous prose style as well. In this, the opening number of his individual journal, Mr. Kleiner provides us with a pleasing variety of literary matter; two serious poems, two rhymes of lighter character, an essay on the inevitable topic of Consolidation, and a brilliant collection of short editorials and criticisms.
"A Carnation", which begins the issue, is an exquisite piece of sentiment couched in faultless verse. The odd measure of the poem is one peculiarly suited to the author's delicate type of genius; an iambic line of only three feet. The other lyric, "Heart, Do Not Wake", is likewise of excellent quality, though the succession of "again" and "pain" in the first line might suggest to some ears an unnecessary internal rhyme.
"The Rhyme of the Hapless Poet" is very clever, and can be truly appreciated by every author of printed matter. Perhaps the misfortune of which the poet complains is the cause of the extra syllable in the first line of the second stanza; we hope that the following is what Mr. Kleiner intended:
"I wrote a poem, 'twas a prize".
Otherwise we are forced to believe that he pronounces "poem" as a monosyllable, "pome". "My Favorite Amateur" is a good specimen of light, imitative verse.
The article on Consolidation is cynical in tone, but eminently sensible. It is only too true that our greatest intellectual stimulus is found in controversy and antagonism; we are really quite bellicose in our instincts, despite the utterances of the peace advocates.
Mr. Kleiner concludes his journal with a sparkling epigram on a rather obvious though regrettable tendency in amateur circles.
The Piper is in general a paper of satisfying merit, to whose future issues we shall look forward with eagerness.
THE RECRUITING FEMININE for 1914-1915 is a publication of unusual worth. "The Rose Supreme," by Coralie Austin, is a delicate little poem in which we regret the presence of one inexcusably bad rhyme. To rhyme the words "rose" and "unclosed" is to exceed the utmost limits of poetic license. It is true that considerable variations in vowel sounds have been permitted; "come" makes, or at least used to make, an allowable rhyme with "home", "clock" with "look", or "grass" with "place"; but a final consonant attached to one of two otherwise rhyming syllables positively destroys the rhyme.
Mrs. Myra Cole's essay on "The Little Things of Life" is well written and instructive.
"The Dirge of the Great Atlantic", by Anne Vyne Tillery Renshaw, is a grim and moving bit of verse, cast in the same primitively stirring metre which this author used in her professionally published poem, "The Chant of Iron". Mrs. Renshaw possesses an enviable power to reach the emotions through the medium of written words.
"Two Octobers—A Contrast", by Eloise N. Griffith, is a meritorious sketch ending with the usual appeal for the cessation of the European war. We fear that the author cannot quite realize the ambitious passions, essential ingredients of human nature, which render necessary a final decision.
Miss Edna von der Heide, in an able article, rallies to the defense of Mr. W. E. Griffin's now famous "Favorite Pastime". The Modern Lothario is fortunate in having so competent and experienced a champion. However, we cannot wholly endorse the sentiments of these excellent writers. The statement that "all amateur journalists are flirts, more or less", is a base and unwarranted libel which we are prepared completely to refute.
"The Audience", by Mrs. Florence Shepphird, is a masterly defense of those inactive amateurs whom we are all too prone to consider as delinquent. It is indeed true that authors would be useless were it not for some sort of a reading public.
TOLEDO AMATEUR for December is a wholesome juvenile product. The typography still leaves something to be desired, but the evidences of care are everywhere visible, and we may reasonably expect to see it improve from month to month, into one of the leading amateur papers. Credentials form the keynote of the current issue, and a very promising assortment of recruits are here introduced to the members of the United. Miss Sandborn, who is fortunate enough to be one of Mr. Moe's pupils at Appleton, contributes an interesting school anecdote, narrated in simple fashion. Miss Thie gives information concerning the "Campfire Girls". Some new members of adult years are also represented in this number. Mr. Jenkins shows an admirable command of light prose, and will undoubtedly prove one of the United's most entertaining writers. Misses Kline and McGeoch both exhibit marked poetical tendencies in prose, the latter writer having something of Mr. Fritter's facility in the use of metaphor. Mr. Porter's editorials are refreshingly naive and unaffected. His grammar is generally good, except in the one sentence where he speaks of the Toledo Times. He should say, "the newspaper which has given me much experience, and to whose publishers I owe a great deal of experience gained."
THE UNITED OFFICIAL QUARTERLY for November marks the beginning of a laudable enterprise on the part of the official board. The magazine is of artistic appearance in cover, paper, and typography alike, while the contents show considerable care in preparation.
Ira A. Cole's essay on "The Gods of Our Fathers" is the leading feature and, though not of perfect perspicuity nor faultless unity, is none the less noteworthy as a sincere expression of Pantheism. Mr. Cole keenly feels the incongruity of our devotion to Semitic theological ideals, when as a matter of fact we are descended from Aryan polytheists, and his personification of the Grecian deities in the men of today is a pleasing and ingenious conception. We are inclined to wonder whether the author or the printer is to blame for rendering the poet Hesiod's name as "Hesoid".
The metric art is represented by three contributions. Paul J. Campbell's lines on "The Heritage of Life" are smooth in construction and proper in sentiment, though they are far from showing their author at his best. Mr. Campbell is a supreme master of the philosophical essay and of pointed, satirical prose, being a very "Junius" in bold, biting invective; but is placed at something of a disadvantage in the domain of conventional poetry. Rheinhart Kleiner and ourselves revel in heroic couplets of widely differing nature. Our own masterpiece is in full Queen Anne style with carefully balanced lines and strictly measured quantities. We have succeeded in producing eighteen lines without a single original sentiment or truly poetical image. Rev. Mr. Pyke, the object of the verses, deserves a better encomiast. Mr. Kleiner, on the other hand, uses an heroic metre of that softened type which was evolved at the close of the eighteenth century from the disruption of the more formal style. In this sort of verse the stiff, classic expressions are discarded, and the sense frequently overflows from couplet to couplet, giving the romantic poet a greater latitude for expression than was possible in the old models. "Vacation" is not distinguished by any strikingly novel idea, but is in general a very clever piece of light work. The only substantial defect is in the eighth line, where the word "resort" is so placed, that the accent must fall wrongfully upon the first syllable.
Leo Fritter's article on criticism is timely and sensible. As he justly contends, some authorized amateur critics deal far too roughly with the half-formed products of the young author, while most unofficial and inexperienced reviewers fairly run mad with promiscuous condemnation. The fancied brilliancy of the critic is always greatest when he censures most, so that the temptations of the tribe are many. We are at best but literary parasites, and need now and then just such a restraining word as our counter-critic gives us. Mr. Fritter's style is here, as usual, highly ornamented with metaphor. One slight defect strikes the fastidious eye, but since split infinitives are becoming so common in these days, we shall attend the author's plea for gentleness, and remain silent.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, Chairman, Department of Public Criticism.
THE UNITED AMATEUR MARCH 1915
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
THE BLARNEY STONE for November-December is dedicated to its contributors and wholly given over to their work. "Did You Ever Go A-Fishin'?," by Olive G. Owen, is a vivid poetical portrayal of that peculiar attraction which the angler's art exerts on its devotees. While the whole is of high and pleasing quality, exception must be taken to the rhyming of "low" with itself at the very beginning of the poem. It may be that the second "low" is a misprint for "slow", yet even in that case, the rhyme is scarcely allowable, since the dominant rhyming sound would still be "low". Miss Edna von der Heide, in "The Christmas of Delsato's Maria", tells how an Italian thief utilized his questionable art to replace a loss in his family. "To General Villa" is a peculiar piece of verse written last summer for the purpose of defying those who had charged its author with pedantry and pomposity. It has suffered somewhat at the hands of the printer; "Intrepido" being spelled "Intrepedo", and the word "own" being dropped from the clause "your own name can't write" in the third line of the second stanza. Also, the first of the Spanish double exclamation marks around the oath "Santa Maria" is right side up instead of inverted according to Castilian custom. Having been hastily written, the piece is wholly without merit. "Senor", in the second line of the third stanza is placed so that the accent must fall erroneously on the first syllable. The changes of time and revolutions have rendered the last stanza sadly out of date.
The issue is concluded with a beautiful editorial on "The Service With Love", wherein is described the ideal spirit of brotherhood which should pervade amateur journalism. We regret the two blank pages at the back of the magazine, and wish that some talented Blarney had seen fit to adorn them with his work.
THE BROOKLYNITE for January is of unusual merit, fairly teeming with features of a well-written and substantial character.
The short story by Mrs. Carson is developed with admirable simplicity and ease; the plot not too strained, and the moral not too pragmatically forced upon the reader. The conversation, always a difficult point with amateur authors, is surprisingly natural.
Mrs. Adams' essay on ghosts displays considerable literary knowledge, though the anecdote at the end is rather ancient for use today. We last heard it about ten years ago, with a Scotchman instead of a negro preacher as the narrator, and with the word "miracle" instead of "phenomena" as the subject.
Mr. Goodwin's "Cinigrams" are delightful, and we expect soon to hear the author heralded as the Martial of amateur journalism. "Ford, Do Not Shake", Mr. Goodwin's parody on Kleiner's "Heart, Do Not Wake", is actually side-splitting. The metre is handled to perfection, and the humor is extremely clever.
"Consolidation", by George Julian Houtain, is a fair example of the manner in which some of the less dignified National politicians try to cast silly aspersions on the United. The elaborately sarcastic phrase: "United boys and girls", seems to please its author, since he uses it twice. There is unconscious irony in the spectacle of a National man, once a member of the notorious old Gotham ring, preaching virtuously against the "unenviable record" of the United.
Mr. Stoddard's brief essay, composed at a meeting of the Blue Pencil Club, is excellent, and his concluding quatrain regular and melodious. We wish, however, that he would give us some more of the serious fiction that he can write so splendidly, and which used several years ago to appear in the amateur press.
"Music Moods", by Charles D. Isaacson, is an emotional sketch of great power and delicate artistry. Mr. Isaacson has an active imagination and a literary ability which makes his readers see very vividly the images he creates.
Mrs. Houtain's poem shows great but as yet undeveloped talent. The repeated use of the expletive "do" in such phrases as "I do sigh", or "I pray and do pine", mars the verse somewhat. As Pope remarked and humorously illustrated in his Essay on Criticism:
"Expletives their feeble aid DO join."
Mr. Ayres' jocose epic is clever and tuneful. The climax, or rather anticlimax, comes quite effectively.
Mr. Adams, in his brilliant verses entitled "Gentlemen, Please Desist", exposes in a masterly way the fatuity of our loud-mouthed peace workers. Miss Silverman's lines on the same subject are very good, but scarcely equal in keenness of wit. It is all very well to "keep industry booming", but industry cannot take the place of military efficiency in protecting a nation against foreign aggression.
As a whole, the January Brooklynite is the best number we have yet seen.
THE COYOTE for March is not a revival of Ex-President Brechler's well-known amateur journal of that name, but a semi-professional leaflet edited by Mr. William T. Harrington, a rather new recruit. The leading feature is a sensational short story by the editor, entitled "What Gambling Did". In this tale, Mr. Harrington exhibits at least a strong ambition to write, and such energy, if well directed, may eventually make of him one of our leading authors of fiction. Just now, however, we must protest against his taste in subject and technique. His models are obviously not of the classical order, and his ideas of probability are far from unexceptionable. In developing the power of narration, it is generally best, as one of our leading amateurs lately reiterated, to discard the thought of elaborate plots and thrilling climaxes, and to begin instead with the plain and simple description of actual incidents with which the author is familiar. Likewise, the young author may avoid improbability by composing his earliest efforts in the first person. He knows what he himself would do in certain circumstances, but he does not always know very exactly what some others might do in similar cases. Meanwhile, above all things he should read classic fiction, abstaining entirely from "Wild West Weeklies" and the like. Mr. Harrington has a taste for excitement, and would probably thrive on Scott, Cooper, or Poe. Let him read the Leather Stocking Tales if he loves pioneers and frontier life. Not until after he has acquired a familiarity with the methods of the best authors, and refined his imagination by a perusal of their works, should he make attempts at writing outside his own experience. He will then be able to produce work of a quality which would surprise him now.
We are sorry to note that the Coyote's editorial columns are occupied by a mere condensed copy of the United's standard recruiting circular. This space might have been filled much more profitably with brief original comments by the editor on the numerous exchanges which are listed in another part of his paper. The paid advertising and subscription price are not to be commended. Such things have no place in a truly amateur paper. But continued membership in the United will doubtless fill Mr. Harrington with the genuine amateur spirit, and cause The Coyote to become a worthy successor to its older namesake.
DOWDELL'S BEARCAT for October is a modest but very promising little paper, mostly composed of amateur notes and brief reviews. The editor has interest in his work, and fluency in his language, foundations on which a more elaborate structure may some day be erected. One feature open to criticism is Mr. Dowdell's sudden change in his editorial column from the usual first person plural to the third person singular. It would be better to save "The Old Bear" and his interesting chat, for a separate column. The typography of Dowdell's Bearcat is not perfect, but may be expected to improve from issue to issue.
THE EMISSARY for July is a National paper, but contains the work of several United members. Of the publication itself we need not stop to speak. Mr. Reading, though only eighteen years of age, is an editor and printer of the highest grade, and has produced an issue which will be long remembered in the amateur world.
"Ausonius, the Nature-Lover", by Edward H. Cole, is a pleasing and judicious appreciation of a later Latin poet, showing how a bard of the decaying Roman Empire approached in certain passages the spirit of modern romanticism. Mr. Cole's translated extracts are beautifully phrased, and his comment upon the subject well exhibits his wide and careful scholarship. Articles of this quality are rarely found in the amateur press, and it will be interesting to note what effect their more frequent appearance would have upon the literary tone of the associations.
"To Sappho", by Olive G. Owen, is a lyrical poem of much merit, yet having a defective line. Why, we wonder, did the author see fit to leave two necessary syllables out of the third line of the opening verse?
"Lamb o' Mine", by Dora M. Hepner, is probably the most attractive bit of verse in the magazine. The negro dialect is inimitable, and the consoling spirit of the old black "mammy" fairly radiates from the lines. Metrically, the piece is faultless, and we wish its author were a more frequent contributor to the amateur journals.
Miss von der Heide's two poems, "The Mill Mother", and "Greeting", express admirably the sentiments of pathos and natural beauty, respectively. Personally, we prefer "Greeting".
Mr. Campbell's lines on "Huerta's Finish" are distinctly below the usual standard of this talented writer's work. The metre is satisfactory, but the humor is somewhat strained, and the pun in the last line based on a mispronunciation of the old Indian's name. "Wehr-ta" is probably the correct sound, rather than "Hurt-a".
THE INSPIRATION for January must be judged strictly by its quality; not its quantity. Pinkney C. Grissom, a very young amateur, cheers us greatly with his article on "Smiles", while Miss von der Heide's microscopic story, "A Real Victory", is indeed a literary treat. We trust that the editor's threat of discontinuance may not be realized.
THE KANSAN for July reaches us at a late date through the kindness of Mr. Daas. In this magazine the Sunflower Club of Bazine makes its formal debut, being ushered into amateur society by means of a pleasing and well-written article from the pen of Miss Hoffman. The informal "Exchange Comment" is a charitable and generally delightful department, whose anonymity we rather regret. The Editorial pages are brilliant in their justification of the United's sunny spirit, as contrasted with the National's forbidding frigidity.
THE OLYMPIAN for September-February well sustains the lofty traditions of that magazine. Mr. Cole defines with considerable precision his latest editorial policy and his true attitude toward the United, revealing only the more strongly, however, his remarkable and ineradicable prejudice against our association in favor of the National. "Evening Prayer", by Rheinhart Kleiner, is a poem of great beauty and real worth, couched in the alternating iambic pentameter and trimeter which this poet seems to have made his own particular medium of expression. Mr. Kleiner is rapidly assuming a very high rank among amateur poets.
"The Public Library", by Eloise N. Griffith, is a delightful and appreciative reminiscence of quiet hours of lettered joy.
"The Play Hour", consisting of two clever bits of metre dedicated to a very young amateur, appears in a collection of short and sprightly pieces signed by the Senior Editor himself. It is difficult, nevertheless, to imagine the dignified Olympian Zeus as the author. Though the second of these tuneful rhymes is apparently written in the "simplified" spelling now so popular among certain amateur editors, a closer inspection reveals the fact that the spelling is merely made juvenile to suit the subject. After all, however, simplified spelling and baby-talk are but little removed from each other. The Reviewers' Club is in this issue represented by both editors, whose criticisms are as usual just and illuminating.
PROMETHEUS for September-November is a journal of unusual literary and artistic value, edited by our poet-laureate, Miss Olive G. Owen. The paper well lives up to its sub-title, "A Magazine of Aspirations Dreamed into Reality". Mr. William H. Greenfield, the honored founder of the United, claims the first page with a graceful Pindaric ode, "To My Friend". "The Weaver of Dreams", by Edna G. Thorne, is a strikingly well-written short story pervaded with a delicate pathos and expressing a beautiful Christian philosophy. George W. Macauley, continuing to concentrate his narrative powers on the Oriental tale, presents a pleasing fable of old Moorish Spain, entitled "Ali Ahmed and the Aqueduct". "The Ethics of Stimulation", by Maurice W. Moe, is an eminently sound exposition of the relative evil of coffee and alcoholic liquor as stimulants. "Partners", by H. A. Reading, exhibits great ability on the part of its author, and is well calculated to arouse the emotions of affectionate fathers and sons.
Miss Owen's work, scattered here and there throughout the magazine, is naturally of the very first quality. It is hard to choose between the two poems "Atthis, I Love Thee", and "To Elizabeth Knopf", but we incline slightly toward the former. The sketches "The Visitor" and "Some Things I Like in New York" are both delightful in their artistic simplicity.
Critically analyzed, Prometheus may be classed as one of the most varied and generally readable magazines of the season.
RED LETTER DAYS for October is the first of an informal individual paper by George W. Macauley, representing the most purely personal phase of amateur journalism. This issue is almost completely devoted to an animated account of the "Red Letter Days" spent by Mr. Macauley last summer with the amateurs who stopped to see him while on their way to the various conventions. The author's style is familiar and pleasing, though rather careless, and slightly marred by defects in spelling and grammar. For instance, we are told of the caution which he and Mr. Stoddard exercised in changing seats in a boat, since neither "could swim, had the boat DID the usual thing." We are sorry that Mr. Macauley has adopted "simplified" spelling, but it is an evil in which he is by no means alone.
Red Letter Days, broadly considered, is a highly commendable paper; its simplicity and lack of affectation are alone sufficient to win general approval.
STRAY LEAVES for May-June is another paper which has arrived late and indirectly. In this publication we note with disapproval some evidence of pseudo-professionalism, such as a subscription rate and advertisements, but we trust that Miss Draper will ere long acquire the perfect amateur spirit. "Love Proved To Be the Master of Hate", a short story by Frances Wood, is handicapped by its unwieldy title. "The Triumph of Love", or some heading of equal brevity, would better suit it. Indications of immaturity are here and there perceptible, and at the very beginning there is an inexplicable mass of hyphenation. However, the tale is undeniably of considerable merit, conveying a pleasing picture of jealousy overcome.
The Editorial department might be improved by a judicious copying of the best amateur models. The reference to anti-Suffrage and Suffrage as "two vital questions" is hardly permissible; these are the two sides of only one question.
"Thinkers", by G. D., is really excellent as an essay, despite the awkwardness of style.
The Bermuda letter is highly interesting in its descriptions, but painfully unscholarly in its phraseology. We here behold a case of real talent obscured by want of literary polish, and hope that F. A. B., whoever he or she may be, will profit by his or her connection with the United.
Stray Leaves has great possibilities, and will doubtless prove one of the leading papers of amateur journalism in times to come.
THE UNITED OFFICIAL QUARTERLY for January hardly lives up to the artistic standard set by the first number, though it contains much valuable matter. Herbert B. Darrow pleads very ably for the personal acknowledgement of amateur papers received, while Paul J. Campbell writes convincingly on the true value of amateur journalism. Pres. Hepner, in the concluding article, opposes with considerable vigor the Hoffman policy of issuing co-operative magazines. We are not, however, inclined entirely to agree with our executive's conclusions. The co-operative journal is practically the only adequate medium of expression for the amateur of limited means, and most of the later journals of this class, of which the Official Quarterly is itself an example, have been of excellent quality. It is perhaps too much to expect the average President, encumbered with a host of other duties, to conduct this work, but in any event some suitable official should be delegated for that purpose. The association should not lightly abandon a policy which made the preceding administration one of the most brilliant and successful in years.
THE WOODBEE for January exhibits amateur journalism at its best. Mrs. Anne Tillery Renshaw opens the magazine with a pleasing poem, dedicated to the Woodbees, which combines simplicity of diction with regularity of metre. Those decasyllabic quatrains are a decided departure from Mrs. Renshaw's usual style, which explains the slight lack of fluency. The last line of the third stanza contains a redundant syllable, a defect which might be corrected by the removal of the article before the word "louder", or by the poetical contraction of "sympathy" into "symp'thy". The third line of the fourth stanza possesses only four feet. This may be an intentional shortening to give rhetorical effect, yet it mars none the less the symmetry of the verse.
"The Spiritual Significance of the Stars", by Leo Fritter, is the leading feature of the issue. The inspiring influence of astronomical study on the cultivated intellect is here shown to best advantage. Mr. Fritter traces the slow unfolding of celestial knowledge to the world, and points out the divinity of that mental power which enables man to discern the vastness of the universe, and to comprehend the complex principles by which it is governed. In the laws of the heavens he finds the prototype of all human laws, and the one perfect model for human institutions. Mr. Fritter's essay is eminently worthy of a place among the classics of amateur journalism.
"A Morn in June", by Harriet E. Daily, is a short and dainty poem of excellent quality, though marred by a reprehensible attempt to rhyme "grass" with "task". As we mentioned in connection with another amateur poem, a final consonant on one of two otherwise rhyming syllables utterly destroys the rhyme. "We Are Builders All", by Elizabeth M. Ballou, is a graceful allegory based on the temple of Solomon. Edna Mitchell Haughton's character sketch, "The Family Doctor", is just and well drawn.
"A Dog for Comfort", by Edna von der Heide, is a meritorious poem of gloomy impressiveness. We cannot quite account for the defective second line of the fourth stanza, since Miss von der Heide is so able a poetess. Perhaps it is intentional, but we wish the line were of normal decasyllabic length. "My Grandmother's Garden", by Ida Cochran Haughton, is a truly delightful bit of reminiscent description which deserves more than one reading. "A Little Girl's Three Wishes", by Mrs. R. M. Moody, is entertaining in quality and correct in metre. It is a relief to behold amidst the formless cacophony of modern poetry such a regular, old-fashioned specimen of the octosyllabic couplet. "Two Little Waterwheels", by Dora M. Hepner, is an exquisite idyllic sketch. In the second paragraph we read of a channel "damned" up by a projecting root of a tree; which somewhat surprises us, since we did not know that tree-roots are accustomed to use profane language. Perhaps the author intended to write "dammed".
The editorials are brief. In one of them it is stated that the paper is submitted without fear to the critics AND Eddie Cole. In view of Mr. Cole's scholarly and conscientious critical work, we hope that no reflection upon him is there intended.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, Chairman, Department of Public Criticism.
Let other bards with nobler talents sing The beauties of the mild, maturer spring. My rustic Muse on bleaker times must dwell, When Earth, but new-escap'd from winter's spell, Uncloth'd, unshelter'd, unadorn'd, is seen; Stript of white robes, nor yet array'd in green. Hard blows the breeze, but with a warmer force. The melting ground, the brimming watercourse, The wak'ning air, the birds' returning flight, The longer sunshine, and the shorter night, Arcturus' beams, and Corvus' glitt'ring rays, Diffuse a promise of the genial days. Yon muddy remnant of the winter snow Shrinks humbly in the equinoctial glow, Whilst in the fields precocious grass-blades peep Above the earth so lately wrapt in sleep. What sweet, elusive odor fills the soil, To rouse the farmer to his yearly toil! Though thick the clouds, and bare the maple bough, With what gay song he guides the cumbrous plough! In him there stirs, like sap within the tree, The joyous call to new activity: The outward scene, however dull and drear, Takes on a splendor from the inward cheer. Prophetic month! Would that I might rehearse Thy hidden beauties in sublimer verse: Thy glorious youth, thy vigor all unspent, Thy stirring winds, of spring and winter blent. Summer brings blessings of enervate kind; Thy joys, O March, are ecstasies of mind. In June we revel in the bees' soft hum, But March exalts us with the bliss to come.
—H. P. LOVECRAFT.
THE UNITED AMATEUR
OFFICIAL ORGAN OF THE UNITED AMATEUR PRESS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA
VOLUME XIV GEORGETOWN, ILL., MAY, 1915. NUMBER 5
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
THE BLARNEY STONE for January-February is replete with good literature, amidst which may particularly be mentioned Arthur Goodenough's harmonious poem, "God Made Us All of Clay". The theme is not new, but appears advantageously under Mr. Goodenough's delicate treatment.
M. W. Hart's short story, "The Redemption", is intended to portray a righteous transformation from conventional false morality to true Christian life, but in reality presents a very repulsive picture of bestial atavism. The meaner character was not "reformed by mercy", but merely withheld from wholesale vice by isolation. Mr. Hart is so plainly in earnest when he relates this dismal tale as a sermon, that we must not be too harsh in questioning his taste or condemning his free standards of civilized morality; yet we doubt seriously if stories or essays of this type should appear in the press, and especially in the amateur press. Two or three technical points demand attention. The word "diversified" on page 2 might better be "diverse", while "environment" on page 4, could well be replaced by "condition" or "state". On page 5 occurs the sentence "All intelligence ... were ... instinct". Obviously the verb should be in the singular number to correspond with its subject. Mr. Hart is developing a prose style of commendable dignity, unusually free from the jarring touch of modern frivolity.
H. B. Scott is proving himself a finished scholar and a thoughtful editor in his conduct of The Blarney Stone; his able essay on "Personality" is eminently worthy of more than one perusal.
THE BOYS' HERALD for May presents us with a highly interesting account of Robert Louis Stevenson's career as an amateur journalist, together with a facsimile reproduction of the cover of "The Sunbeam Magazine", Stevenson's hand-written periodical. The column of reminiscences, containing letters from various old-time amateurs, is extremely inspiring to the younger members, showing how persistently the amateur spirit adheres to all who have truly acquired it. "Nita at the Passing Show" is a witty and entertaining parody by Mr. Smith, illustrating the theatrical hobby of Miss Gerner; one of the latest United recruits. The Boys' Herald discharges a peculiar and important function in the life of the associations, connecting the present with the past, and furnishing us with just standards for comparison.
DOWDELL'S BEARCAT for December opens with a Christmas poem of great beauty and harmonious construction from the pen of Dora M. Hepner. The thoughts and images are without exception lofty and well selected, and the only possible defect is the attempt to rhyme "come" with "run" in the last stanza. Edward H. Cole's review of a recent booklet in memory of Miss Susan Brown Robbins, a former amateur, is more than a criticism. It is a rare appreciation of the bonds of mutual esteem and respect which grow up amongst the congenial members of the press associations. Mr. Cole is peculiarly well fitted to deal with his subject, and no praise is needed beyond the statement that the review is characteristic of him.
DOWDELL'S BEARCAT for January marks the metamorphosis of that periodical into a newspaper. With youthful ambition, Mr. Dowdell is resolved to furnish the United with the latest items of interest concerning amateurs. While the general style of the paper is fluent and pleasing, we believe that "Bruno" might gain much force of expression through the exercise of a little more care and dignity in his prose. For instance, many colloquial contractions like "don't", "won't", or "can't" might be eliminated, while such slang phrases as "neck of the woods", "make good", "somewhat off", or "bunch of yellow-backs" were better omitted.
DOWDELL'S BEARCAT for March is notable for an increase in size. "A Visit to Niagara Falls", by Andrew R. Koller, is an intelligent and animated piece of description, which promises well for the development of its author. What looseness of construction exists may be charged to youth. "An Ambition and a Vision", by Nettie A. Hartman, is a neat and grammatically written little sketch, probably autobiographical, describing the evolution of an amateur. Greater cultivation of rhetorical taste would improve Miss Hartman's style, and we are certain that it possesses a fundamental merit which will make improvement an easy matter. With the usual regret we observe an instance of "simple spelling", which Mr. Dowdell, who does not fall into this vice himself, has evidently overlooked in editing. The news items this month are timely and vivacious, exhibiting "Bruno" at his best.
THE LAKE BREEZE for March inaugurates a very welcome revival of the United's foremost news sheet, now to be issued monthly. Mr. Daas is so active an amateur, and so closely connected with the development of the association, that his ably edited journal has almost the authority of an official organ.
The editorial entitled "Ashes and Roses" is a powerful and convincing reply to a rather weak attack lately made on the United by a member of a less active association. Mr. Daas uses both sense and sarcasm to great advantage, leaving but little ground for his opponent to occupy.
"The Amateur Press" is a well conducted column of contributed reviews, among which Mrs. A. M. Adams' eulogy of Mrs. Griffith's essay in Outward Bound is perhaps the best. "What is Amateur Journalism?", by "El Imparcial", is a sketch of the various types of amateurs, with a suggestion of the ideal type. While free from glaring defects, the essay gives no really new information, and brings out no strikingly original ideas. "Some Objections to Moving Pictures", by Edmund L. Shehan, presents a strong array of evidence against one of the most popular and instructive amusements of today. We do not believe, however, that the objections here offered are vital. The moving picture has infinite possibilities for literary and artistic good when rightly presented, and having achieved a permanent place, seems destined eventually to convey the liberal arts to multitudes hitherto denied their enjoyment. Mr. Shehan's prose style is clear and forceful, capable of highly advantageous development.
LITERARY BUDS for April is the first number of a paper issued by the new Athenaeum Club of Journalism, Harvey, Ill. Though the text of most of the contributions has suffered somewhat through a slight misapprehension concerning the editing, the issue is nevertheless pleasing and creditable.
"A la Rudyard", a poem by George A. Bradley, heads the contents. While hampered by some of the heaviness natural to authors of school age, Mr. Bradley has managed to put into his lines a laudable enthusiasm and genuine warmth. The editorial column is well conducted, the second item being especially graphic, though the "superdreadnought" metaphor seems rather forced. Clara Inglis Stalker, the enthusiastic and capable educator through whose efforts the club was formed, gives a brief account of her organization, under the title "The History of an Eight-Week-Old", and in a prose style of uniformly flowing and attractive quality. "A Love Song", Miss Stalker's other contribution, is a poem of delicate imagery and unusual metre. "Our Paring Knife", by Gertrude Van Lanningham, is a short sketch with an aphorism at the end. Though this type of moral lesson is a little trite, Miss Van Lanningham shows no mean appreciation of literary form, and will, when she has emerged from the "bud" stage, undoubtedly blossom into a graphic and sympathetic writer. "Co-Education", by Caryl W. Dempsey, is an interesting but only partially convincing article on a topic of considerable importance. The author, being enthusiastically in favor of the practice, enumerates its many benefits; yet the arguments are decidedly biased. While the advantage of co-education to young ladies is made quite obvious, it remains far from clear that young men receive equal benefit. A desirable decline of cliques and hazing might, it is true, result from the admission of women to men's universities, but the young men would undoubtedly lose much in earnest, concentrated energy and dignified virility through the presence of the fair. The experiment, radical at best, has failed more than once. The style of this essay is slightly wanting in ease and continuity, yet possesses the elements of force. "The Traitor", by Agnes E. Fairfield, is a short story of artistic development but questionable sentiment. The present fad of peace-preaching should not be allowed to influence a writer of sense into glorifying a socialistic, unpatriotic fanatic who refuses to uphold the institutions that his fathers before him created with their toil, blood, and sacrifice. It is not the right of the individual to judge of the necessity of a war; no layman can form an intelligent idea of the dangers that may beset his fatherland. The man is but a part of the state, and must uphold it at any cost. We are inclined to wonder at Miss Fairfield's mention of a king, when the name Phillipe La Roque so clearly proclaims the hero a Frenchman. France, be it known, has been a republic for some little time. "Penny in the Slot", by Vaughn Flannery, possesses a humor that is pleasing and apparently quite spontaneous. We should like to behold more of Mr. Flannery's efforts in this field.
Viewed in its entirety, allowance being made for its present essentially juvenile nature, Literary Buds may be regarded as a pronounced success. That it will mature in consonance with the club which it represents is certain, and each future issue can be relied upon to surpass its predecessor.
OLE MISS' for March, edited by Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Renshaw, easily falls into the very front rank of the season's amateur journals. In this number Mr. Joseph W. Renshaw makes his initial appearance before the members of the United, producing a very favorable impression with his pure, attractive prose. The introduction, credited in another column to Mr. Renshaw, is of graceful and pleasing character, recalling the elusively beautiful atmosphere of the Old South which is too soon passing away.
"The Humble Swallow", an anonymous essay, praises with singularly delicate art a feathered creature whose charms lie not on the surface. The concluding paragraph, condemning the wanton slaughter of this winged friend to mankind, is especially apt at a time of hysterical peace agitation. While the well meaning advocates of peace call wildly upon men to abandon just warfare against destructive and malignant enemies, they generally pass over without thought or reproof the wholesale murder of these innocent little birds, who never did nor intended harm to anyone. "A Higher Recruiting Standard", by Mrs. Renshaw, is an able exposition of the newer and loftier type of ideals prevailing in the United. Our association has never lacked numbers, but would undoubtedly be the better for an increased standard of scholarship such as is here demanded. Mrs. Renshaw's work as a recruiter is in keeping with her policy, and this, together with Mr. Moe's work amongst the English teachers, seems destined to raise the United far above its lesser contemporaries. "An A. J. Suggestion", by Mr. Renshaw, deals ingeniously and logically with the always difficult problem of selecting a printer. Though evidently written quite independently, it ably seconds Paul J. Campbell's original suggestion in the UNITED AMATEUR. The advantages of having one printer for all amateur work are many, and the well presented opinions of Mr. Renshaw should aid much in securing this desirable innovation.
The poetry in Ole Miss' is all by Mrs. Renshaw, and therefore of first quality. "Some One I Know" is a lightly amatory piece of tuneful rhythm. "Night of Rain" gives a peculiarly pleasing aspect to a type of scene not usually celebrated in verse. The only jarring note is the rather mundane metaphor which compares the trees to a "beautiful mop". Though Mrs. Renshaw holds unusual ideas regarding the use of art in poetry, we contend that this instance of rhetorical frigidity is scarcely permissible. It is too much like Sir Richard Blackmore's description of Mount Aetna, wherein he compares a volcanic eruption to a fit of colic; or old Ben Johnson's battle scene in the fifth act of "Catiline", where he represents the sun perspiring. "Man of the Everyday" is a noble panegyric on the solid, constructive virtues of the ordinary citizen, portraying very graphically the need of his presence in a world that heeds him but little.
Considered in all its aspects, Ole Miss' is a notable contribution to amateur literature, and one which we hope to see oft repeated.
THE PASSING SHOW for February is the "second annual production" of an excellent though informal little paper by Nita Edna Gerner, a new member of the United, and the daughter of an old-time amateur. Miss Gerner is an enthusiast on all matters pertaining to the theatre, and has impressed her hobby very strongly on the pages of her publication.
The dominant theme of the current issue is that of amateur romance, exhibiting the press associations in the role of matrimonial agencies. "The Twos-ers", by Edwin Hadley Smith, is a long list of couples who became wedded through acquaintanceships formed in amateur journalism. This catalogue, recording 26 marriages and engagements from the earliest ages to the present, must have cost its author much time and research. "A Romance of Amateur Journalism", by Edward F. Daas, is a very brief statement of facts in unornamented style. "An 'Interstate' Romance", by Leston M. Ayres, is more elaborate in treatment, and displays an easy, colloquial style.
The editorial column, headed "Through the Opera-Glasses", is bright and informal. We note with regret that Miss Gerner has seen fit to adopt the popular mutilated orthography of the day, a fad which we trust she will discard in time.
PEARSON'S PET for April is a bright and attractive little paper throughout. "Burnin' Off" is a delightful specimen of dialect verse which conveys a graphic image. We have never witnessed such an agricultural function as Mr. Pearson describes, but can gain from his clever lines a vivid idea of its weird impressiveness. "How I Met Elbert Hubbard" is narrated in commendably easy prose, which same may be said of the sketch or editorial entitled "Broke Loose Again". Mr. Pearson is assuredly a competent exponent of amateur journalism's lighter and less formal side.
THE PIPER for May is as pleasing and meritorious as the first number, both in its verse and its prose. "The Modern Muse", exhibiting Mr. Kleiner in a somewhat humorous mood, is very forceful in its satire on the altered ideals of the poetical fraternity, but is marred by the noticeably imperfect rhyming of "garret" and "carrot", it is barely possible that according to the prevailing New York pronunciation this rhyme is not so forced as it appears, but we are of New England, and accustomed to hearing the sounds more classically differentiated. The defect is trivial at most, and mentioned here only because Mr. Kleiner professes such a rigid adherence to the law of perfect rhyming. "The Books I Used to Read" is the most delightful appreciation of juvenile literature that has appeared in amateur journalism within our memory. There are few of us in whom this poem will fail to arouse glad reminiscences. "Spring" is a pleasing poem on a subject which though not exactly new, is nevertheless susceptible to an infinite variety of treatment. The four stanzas are highly creditable, both sentimentally and metrically. Apart from the poetry, criticism seems the dominant element in The Piper, and it would be difficult indeed to find a more lucid and discerning series of reviews. Mr. Kleiner's unvarying advocacy of correct metre and perfect rhyming is refreshing to encounter in this age of laxity and license. Perhaps he is a little stern in his condemnation of the "allowable" rhymes of other days, especially in view of his recent "garret-carrot" attempt, yet we admit that there is much to be said in favor of his attitude.
THE PLAINSMAN for February contains a gruesome moral tale by Ricardo Santiago, entitled "The Bell of Huesca". It is proper to remark here, that an important sentence was omitted at the top of page 3. The passage should read "'Sire, thy bell has no clapper!' 'Thy head shall be the clapper'; said the king, and he sent him to the block" etc. Whatever may be said of the aptness of the allegory, it is evident that Mr. Santiago possesses the foundations of a pure and forcible prose style, and a commendable sense of unity in narration and development of climax. This story is undoubtedly worthy of its distinction as winner in The Plainsman's post-card contest.
THE SPECTATOR for June-July, 1914, though somewhat trite in title, is the first number of a magazine notable for its quality. Walter John Held is without doubt one of the most enterprising youths who have ever joined the ranks of the association, though his views on paid subscriptions and advertisements show his still imperfect acquisition of the true amateur spirit. Mr. Held mistakes commercial progress for artistic development, believing that the aim of every amateur in his ascent toward professional authorship is to write remunerative matter. He therefore considers a publisher's advancement to be best shown in ability to extract an odd penny now and then from a few subscribers who really subscribe only out of courtesy. We wish that Mr. Held might come to consider amateur journalism in its higher aspects; as a medium for improvement in literature and taste; an aid to the cultivation of the art for its own sake in the manner of gentlemen, not of cheap tradesmen. The selection of commercial prosperity as a goal will ruin any true literary progress, and dull the artistic aspiration of the student as soon as his mercenary instincts shall have been satisfied. Besides, there is really no sound business principle in the so-called "sale" of little papers. No youth could ever found or sustain a real magazine of substantial price and more than nominal circulation. The various ten-cents-a-year journals which some "amateurs" try to edit are no logical steps toward actually professional publishing. The latter comes only after literary skill has been attained, and literary skill must at first be developed without regard for immediate monetary profit.
But the merit of Mr. Held's work is none the less unusual. "The Frank Friend" gives evidence of considerable critical ability, despite the touch of arrogance, apologized for in a latter issue, shown in imperfect appreciation of Mr. Edward H. Cole's phenomenally pure English. Mr. Held, in his enthusiasm for "local color", forgets that all the English-speaking world is heir to one glorious language which should be the same from Cape Colony to California or New York to New Zealand.
The only poem in this issue is Olive G. Owen's "How Prayest Thou?", a piece of true sentiment and artistic beauty. The only fault is metrical; the use of the word "trial" as a monosyllable. This tendency to slur over words appears to be Miss Owen's one poetical vice, as exemplified in the imperfect rendering of "jewel", "realness", and "cruelness" elsewhere.
THE SPECTATOR for August-September is marred by a resurrection of the ever odious topic of Consolidation, but is otherwise of remarkable merit. Elbert Hubbard, a professional advertiser and writer of considerable popularity in certain circles, relates in an interesting way the history of his most widely known literary effort. Mr. Hubbard's prose style is direct and pointed, though rather abrupt and barren. "The Midnight Extra", by Dora M. Hepner, is a humorous short story of unusual merit, leading from a well created atmosphere of terror to a clever and unexpected anticlimax.
THE SPECTATOR for October-November contains much matter of very substantial worth. "Creation", by Edward R. Taylor, Dean of the University of California, is a beautiful bit of poetical sentiment and harmonious metre, while "Half-past-twelve", by Miss von der Heide, is likewise of great merit, both in thought and in structure. We have lately been told that many apparent metrical defects which we have noted are really no more than typographical errors, wherefore we will here content ourselves by expressing the belief that the third line of the second stanza of "Half-past-twelve" was originally written thus:
"Across the dark their shrilling laughter floats".
This rendering would do away with two seeming errors in the printed copy. Olive G. Owen's "Battle-Prayer" is powerful in its appeal and faultless in its construction. Of marked interest is "Divine Self-Tower", a brief essay by Takeshi Kanno, the Japanese philosopher. These words, in a tongue foreign to the writer, contain material for more than a moment's thought.
"The Frank Friend" is in this number as interesting a critic as before. The passage of four months has tempered his undue severity; indeed, we fear that he has in certain cases veered a little too far toward the other extreme. The most ambitious review is that of "Pig-pen Pete", by Elbert Hubbard, which gives Mr. Held an opportunity to display his powers to great advantage. Of the two editorials, that entitled "Life" is the more notable. Though its philosophy must necessarily be rather artificial, considering Mr. Held's age, it is none the less a very artistic and generally creditable piece of composition. The cover of The Spectator would be less Hearst-like if the fulsome announcements were eliminated.
TOLEDO AMATEUR for April greets us in altered form, as a two-column paper. Having given over the previous issue to the credentials of new members, Mr. Porter very justly claims a goodly space for himself this month, commenting ably on the affairs and activities of the associations.
"Camp Columbia", by James J. Hennessey, gives an interesting outline of the American army routine in Cuba during the years 1907 and 1908. "Observations of an Outsider", by Mrs. Porter, mother of the editor, sheds light on amateur journalism from a hitherto unusual angle. We note with pleasure that Toledo Amateur remains immune from the destructive bacillus of deformed spelling.
THE WOODBEE for April contains "The Cycle Eternal", a lucid philosophical article by Samuel James Schilling, wherein is described the dispersal and new combinations of the organic cells that compose the body of mankind. By the perpetual reincorporation or reincarnation of these cells in all other forms of matter, man is shown to be immortal, and in the closest degree akin to every natural object surrounding him. His outward form is merely one transient phase of a ceaseless rearrangement of atoms; he is simply one aspect of infinite and eternal Nature. Save for a few slight traces of rhetorical awkwardness, Mr. Schilling's expository style is remarkable for its force and clearness; the arrangement of the essay into Prologue, Body, and Epilogue is especially favorable to comprehensiveness.
While Mr. Schilling deals with mankind in the abstract, Miss Mabel McKee, in "A Gift from the City", presents a concrete example of the workings of the human heart. Her subject and treatment are not startlingly original, but such themes lose very little when repeated in pure English and attractive style. The story is distinctly pleasing, and artistically developed throughout.
A notable feature of the April Woodbee is Miss Hepner's fervent and unstudied tribute to Mr. Leo Fritter, candidate for the United's Presidency. Though the editorial is bestrewn with slang and distinctly familiar in construction, it produces upon the reader an impression of absolute sincerity and intensity of feeling which more elaborate rhetoric might fail so forcibly to convey. Great as is the tribute, however, we feel that Mr. Fritter is worthy of it, and must congratulate him on having such support. Our own efforts for his election, appearing in The Conservative, seem slight in comparison. The only verse in this number is "My Shrine", by Harriet E. Daily. Though containing an attempt to rhyme the words "time" and "shrine", this ethereal little poem of spring is of great attractiveness.
ZEPPELIN for March, a publication emanating from the pen of Mr. O. S. Hackett of Canton, Pennsylvania, is scarcely as formidable and menacing as its name, being distinctly friendly and fraternal in its general tone. Mr. Hackett's prose has obviously not received its final polishing, but it is so filled with aspiration, ambition, and enthusiasm for the cause of amateur journalism, that it evidently requires only such development as is obtainable from a closer study of grammar and rhetoric, and a wider perusal of classic English literature. In one matter Mr. Hackett seems to harbor a wrong impression. The name "credential", in the language of the amateurs, is not applied to all literary productions, but only to those which are submitted by the new recruits as evidence of their educational fitness for membership in the association they seek to enter.
Joseph R. Schaffman's poem, "Think of Times Yet Coming", shows the same innate sense of rhyme and metre that has distinguished his earlier work. Only the conclusion lacks perfect ease and naturalness. Mr. Schaffman has so far confined his Muse to optimistic opinions and moral maxims; we hope that in the near future he will vary his efforts and attempt to reflect more of his general reading in his poetry. The field is large for one so happily favored with the gift of song.
H. P. LOVECRAFT, Chairman.
THE UNITED AMATEUR
Official Organ of the United Amateur Press Association
VOLUME XV ELROY, WIS., SEPTEMBER, 1915 NUMBER 2
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC CRITICISM
The Alabamian for Spring is a magazine unique amongst the publications of the United. Devoted wholly to poetry, it contains some of the finest short verses to appear this season, whilst even the crudest part of its contents possesses some undoubted merit. The opening poem, a delightful and ornate nature sonnet entitled "The Brook," professes to be a translation from the Spanish, a claim borne out by the use of the word "jasmine" in a place where the metre throws the accent anomalously on the last syllable, as in the corresponding Spanish word "jazmin." The sentiment of the whole is exquisite, and every image exhibits striking beauty. It is to be regretted that both author and translator are suffered to remain unrevealed. "A Poet's Songs," by Miss Owen, is a powerful and well-written tribute to her fellow-bards both ancient and modern. In Coralie Austin's "Tribute to Our President," dedicated to Miss Hepner, we may discern the native talent of the true poet, slightly obscured by the crudities of youth. The opening line appears to lack a syllable, though this may be due only to the printer's omission of the article before the word "laurel." In stanza 1, line 2, the trisyllabic word "violets" appears as a dissyllable. This contraction is a rather natural one, and must not be criticised too sternly. Indeed, there is here a sort of middle zone betwixt error and allowableness, wherein no decisive precepts may be laid down. Words like "radiant," "difference," and so forth, are nearly always slurred into dissyllables, and we were ourselves guilty of an even greater liberalism when we wrote that line in "Quinsnicket Park" which reads:
"The bending boughs a diamond wealth amass."
But in Miss Austin's second stanza occur two errors of graver nature. "For only her alone" is a lamentably tautological line which requires the omission either of "only" or "alone," and the substitution of some word to carry on the flow of metre. The attempted rhyming of "alone" and "home" is obviously incorrect. The dissimilar consonantal sounds render agreement impossible. This "m-n" rhyme, as we may call it, is becoming alarmingly frequent in careless modern verse, and must ever be avoided with utmost diligence. In the third stanza we discover a marked error in maintenance of number. We are told that the "years go" and that at "its end" we will lay trophies, etc. This mistake may be obviated with ease, by changing "years go" to "year goes." Miss Austin's poetic talent is great, but shows the want of precise cultivation. "Mother o' Mine," by Miss von der Heide, is a beautiful piece of anapaestic verse whose metre and sentiment alike attract the reader. "Parsifal," by Miss Owen, shows satisfactory depth of thought, but is rather modern in metre. From the conformation of the last line of the first stanza, we are led to believe that the word "viol" is contracted to a monosyllable, or, to make a rather reprehensible pun, that "vi-ol" has here a "vile" pronunciation. "Frailties of Life," by Editor Baxley, shows a remarkable system of extended rhyming, coupled with a noticeable lack of metrical harmony. Mr. Baxley's technique is such that we believe his improvement would be best effected by a repeated perusal of the older poets, whose classical exactitude of form would teach him rhythm by rote, so to speak. Let him cultivate his ear for metre, even though forced to acquire it through nonsensical jingles. We believe that many a child has obtained from his "Mother Goose" a love of correct rhythm which has later helped him in serious poetical efforts. "Paid Back," a short, powerful poem by Miss von der Heide, concludes an excellent and praiseworthy issue.
Aurora for April is a delightful individual leaflet by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, exclusively devoted to poetical matters. The first poem, "Aurora," is truly exquisite as a verbal picture of the summer dawn, though rather rough-hewn metrically. Most open to criticism of all the features of this piece, is the dissimilarity of the separate stanzas. In a stanzaic poem the method of rhyming should be identical in every stanza, yet Mrs. Haughton has here wavered between couplets and alternate rhymes. In the opening stanza we behold first a quatrain, then a quadruple rhyme. In the second we find couplets only. In the third a quatrain is followed by an arrangement in which two rhyming lines enclose a couplet, while in the final stanza the couplet again reigns supreme. The metre also lacks uniformity, veering from iambic to anapaestic form. These defects are, of course, merely technical, not affecting the beautiful thought and imagery of the poem; yet the sentiment would seem even more pleasing were it adorned with the garb of metrical regularity. "On the Banks of Old Wegee" is a sentimental poem of considerable merit, which suffers, however, from the same faults that affect "Aurora." Most of these defects might have been obviated when the stanzas were composed, by a careful counting of syllables in each line and a constant consultation of some one, definite plan of rhyming. We must here remark an error made in the typewritten copy of the original manuscript, and reproduced in the finished magazine, for which, of course, neither the poetical art of the author nor the technique of the printer is to blame. In the second stanza, lines 6 and 7 were originally written:
"How oft I've essayed to be A fisherman bold, but my luck never told."
"Anent the Writing of Poetry" is a short prose essay, in which many valuable truths are enunciated. Mrs. Haughton has evidently taken up the poetic art with due seriousness, and considering the marked talent shown in the first issue of her paper, we may justly expect to behold a wonderfully rapid development in the near future.
The Badger for June fulfills the promise of January, and shows us that the present year has given the United a new and serious periodical of satisfying quality. In the "Introductory," Mr. George Schilling discusses in lively fashion the latest topics of the day, thereby atoning for our own tedious "Finale." "Ready Made," by Samuel J. Schilling, is a thoughtful presentation of a lamentable fact. The evil which he portrays is one that has rendered the masses of America almost wholly subservient to the vulgar press; to be led astray into every sort of radicalism through low tricks of sensationalism. Our own poetical attempt, entitled "Quinsnicket Park," contains 112 lines, and spoils three and a half otherwise excellent pages. It is probable that but few have had the fortitude to read it through, or even to begin it, hence we will pass over its defects in merciful silence. "What May I Own?" by A. W. Ashby, is an able sociological essay which displays considerable familiarity with the outward aspects of economic conditions. Mr. Ashby, condemning the present system practiced in the coal and iron industries, declares that on moral grounds he had rather be a brewer or purveyor of liquor than a coal magnate or an ironmaster. In this statement, evidently born of hasty fervour, Mr. Ashby forgets the basic character of the two types of industry which he contrasts. Beneath the liquor traffic lies a foundation accursed by decency and reason. The entire industry is designed to pander to a false craving whose gratification lowers man in the scale of mental and physical evolution. The distiller and vendor of rum is elementally the supreme foe of the human race, and the most powerful, dangerous and treacherous factor in the defiance of progress and the betrayal of mankind. His trade can never be improved or purified, being itself a crime against Nature. On the other hand, the coal and iron industries are, in their fundamental forms, desirable and necessary adjuncts to an expanding civilization. Their present evils are wholly alien to their essential principles, being connected only with the uneasy industrialism of this age. These faults are not confined to coal-mining and iron-working, but are merely those possessed in common with all great industries. Joseph E. Shufelt's article on the European war is an amazing outburst of socialism in its worst form. The idea that this shocking carnage is the result of a deliberate plot of the ruling classes of all the belligerents to destroy their labouring element is wonderfully ludicrous in its extravagance. We are led to infer that those best of friends, der Kaiser and his cousins George and Nicholas, are merely pretending hostility in order to rid themselves of a troublesome peasantry! We do not know what Mr. Shufelt has been reading lately, but we hope that time may modify his ideas to such a degree that he will turn his dignified style and pure English to some object worthy of their employment.
Dowdell's Bearcat for July marks the beginning of an unprecedented era of improvement in the quality of that periodical. Having settled down to the conventional 5x7 size, it has now acquired a cover and an abundance of pages which the editor informs us will never be lessened. The influence of The Olympian is perceptible in the Bearcat, and for his taste in the selection of so worthy a model Mr. Dowdell is to be commended. "When the Tape Broke" is the first article of the editorial column, and well describes an example of collapsed activity which the United should avoid. "A Runaway Horse," by Mrs. Ida C. Haughton, is a brief and vivid sketch of a fatal accident. "Tragedy," an exquisite poem by Emilie C. Holladay, deserves very favourable notice for the delicate pathos of its sentiment, and perfect adaptation of the measure to the subject. We may discern a few traces of immaturity in the handling of the metre and in the presence of "allowable" rhymes. As elsewhere stated, we personally approve and employ the old-fashioned "allowable" rhyming sounds, but the best modern taste, as exemplified in the United by its Laureate, Rheinhart Kleiner, demands absolute perfection in this regard. As to the metre, we respectfully offer the following amended second stanza as an example. It is absolutely uniform with the original first stanza, which, of course, furnishes the model.
The summer rains And autumn winds The snowdrop find yet standing; A petal gone, And all alone, Her tender roots expanding.
The remarkable poetical talent exhibited by Miss Holladay deserves a cultivation that shall invest her productions with a technique of the highest order. "The Dignity of Journalism," by ourselves, may be taken by the reader as a sort of supplement to this Department. We there enumerate in the abstract some of the precepts which we shall here apply to individual writers. There are several misprints, which we hope will not be taken as evidences of our bad spelling, and at the conclusion the word "even" is omitted from the phrase which should read: "the necessity, or even the expediency." "June Journals" is an excellent set of short reviews which display very favourably the critical ability of Mr. Dowdell. The concluding notes on "Amateur Affairs" are brief, but very interesting. The general excellence of Dowdell's Bearcat excuses the instances of imperfect proof-reading, which fault we are sure will soon be eliminated.
The Blarney Stone for March-April contains "Thoughts," a meritorious poem by Chester P. Munroe. The tone of the piece is that of sentimental and almost melancholy reverie, hence the metre is not quite uniform; but a commendable absence of rough breaks lends a delightful flow to the lines. We hope to behold further efforts from Mr. Munroe's pen. "The Amateur's Creed," by Mrs. Renshaw, is written in the style of this author's previous and now well-known poem, "A Symphony," and should do much toward lifting the United upward to the highest literary ideals.