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But the love that made us immortal
VI When the haughty Cleopatra Sailed to meet her Roman Mars, It was you who held her mirror; It was I that read their stars. Did we dream of those primitive barges That had carried us that same way?Who shall say !but at least we remembered That our love had lived for aye.
Trading from city to city,
IX Years has she toiled in patience, Lonely and ill at ease, Feeding her heart with day dreams That solace but hardly please; At the touch of his lips she awakens And the glad light in her face Tells him once more he holds her Fast in his fond embrace.
X For the deeper knowledge is wakened Far down ’neath the conscious brain, And he knows his bride of the ages Has come back to earth again; And the gate of death has no terror, Since it cannot separate The souls that watch for each other With a love inviolate.
A THEATRE FOR POETRY
All of us realize that we are passing through one of the greatest periods of American history. How many of us realize that we are passing through one of the greatest periods of American literature? How many of us realize that more true poetry has been written within the last decade than in any other period of American literature? How many of us realize that we are actually in the midst of the American Poetic Renaissance?
The underlying cause of this Renaissance is the unprecedented stress that we are being subjected to, emotionally and intellectually. The same forces which have generated the cataclysm in the political and social world have generated cataclysms as far-reaching in their destructive and creative effects in the realms of the mind. People are experiencing things as they never have experienced before. And when people undergo such experiences they find themselves. Conventions are discarded; long-established formulas are found inadequate; iron-bound rules are shaken off lightly. Every field of thought is ploughed up, to be prepared for a new seed. Politics, Sociology, Ethics, Religion-all are in death throes, or in birth throes, and Art, the diary of the human soul, is overflowing with them. All the arts have been stirred into fuller, freer life by this spiritual revolution, but Poetry, first of all, because it is the shortest and most direct mode of artistic expression. Poetry has responded with such an outburst of genius that this era is going down in literary history as the Poetic Renaissance.
It is to help this Renaissance to fulfill its purpose, to widen and deepen its range, to make of poetry even a more direct art than
it is, that The Poetry Theatre League has been organized. From a thing of the printed page, without physical form or substance, The Poetry Theatre League aims to make of poetry a living and articulate art, capable of physical presentation and interpretation, like the Drama. Poetry, the classic mother of the Drama, Music, and the Dance, is to be restored to its ancient place. Just as Music is interpreted by artist-players, just as Drama is interpreted by actors and stage-directors, so Poetry is to be staged with costumes, scenic effects, and music, whenever necessary, and interpreted by artist-reciters. In addition to this The Poetry Theatre League will act as official press agent for the art of Poetry. It will co-operate with existing poetry societies and organize new ones in universities and settlements through out the country. It will arrange important lecture-series on poetry, and give poets an opportunity for giving public readings of their own works. In this latter way we will be instrumental in presenting poets whom publishers are too timid to introduce to the public. The profits of The Poetry Theatre League will be devoted exclusively to prizes for the best poems appearing in American magazines, and for the best poetic plays submitted to us.
That is the object of The Poetry Theatre League, and its initial announcement was answered by a flood of letters from poets, dramatists, editors, and artists of every art, hailing it as one of the most vital ideas of the day.
The first program of The League, consisting of poems and poetic plays by those who are making the Poetic Renaissance, will be produced in November.
“For remember that though Prose May never be too truthful or too wise Verse is not Truth, not Wisdom, but the Upon Truth's lips, the light in Wisdom's
With much of the temerity which assailed Paul when he came to preach his sermon and thought of his part in previous stonings, I venture to write of verse.
One of my earliest and most vivid recollections is of asking for a story and being given a poem. After that sad experience, whenever I heard anything remotely verging on metre, I emulated Joseph's method of terminating an unwelcome interview with his employer's wife.
(Badger). The title itself is a poem.
From lack of experience, I am unable to speak feelingly of the beauties of the twilight of dawn. It seems to me, however, to speak of duties to perform and obligations to meet, of doubts and fears and halffelt hopes,-a twilight of turmoil. There are those, I suppose, who can spring from bed with gladness for a new day.
“One day with life and hope,
I had a sister with a marvelous memory peculiarly susceptible to mediocre verse. My narrow escapes from listening to long poems by Macaulay and Longfellow, have given me an aversion to those worthy authors which Time has been unable to overcome.
Now and then I was unfortunate enough to receive from some misguided relative, a book of rhymes. Such volumes were bound to find their way to the deserving poor. Of course if a book had only occasional rhymes, they were easy enough to skip. But I can remember wondering why in the world an author who had proved he could write in sensible prose, should have sunk to the ignominy of writing verse.
Like most converts, I can speak at much greater length of my former graceless state than I can of my conversion. Perhaps it is the knowledge of my early philistinism that makes me so humble and grateful in approaching noble verse. Only in certain moods may one venture to read the great poets. Fortunate are those whose natural plane is always high enough to admit it!
But with new poets it is different. No exalted spirit is necessary in coming to them, for too often the supposed poetry proves to be only ordinary prose, or unconscious humor.
This month has been a fortunate one, for the volumes of verse have been numerous and notable.
Henry A. Beers, Emeritus Professor of English' at Yale, has collected his best poems under the title of The Two Twilights
Alas! I cannot do it! I would not so much mind being shot as a spy, if only the enemy would be sure to shoot me at sunrise.
But the twilight of evening is a different matter. Then all the beauties are made golden by that successful alchemist, Memory.
In The Two Twilights, the author has brought together the charming little fancies of his earlier poems together with the philosophy of his later years. The volume will be welcomed by all those who amid the morasses of free verse have kept their original conceptions of real poetry.
One of the early poems, Blue Roses of Academus, is very suggestive.
The Portal :
“There's not a bud among you blows With scent or hue to lure the bee:
Only the thorn that on you growsOnly the thorn grows hardily.
What a helpful quotation to apply to ancient relatives of sequestered ways!
The temptation to quote Amethysts in full is strong, but I will overcome it.
I must, however, give The Singer of One Song.
“He sang one song and died
“Guard you well your mistress,
Hate you all the rest. Ai, Chiquito Perro,
Such a love is best."
Oozed from the grape, which burst and
spilled its fat. But Time, who soonest drops the heaviest
things That weight his pack will carry diam ds
long. So through the poet's orchestra, which
weaves One music from a thousand stops and
strings, Pierces the note of that immortal song:'High over all the lonely bugle grieves.'
Seeing one's poetry run into later editions must be much more satisfying than believing,
"Not marble, nor the gilded monuments Of princes shall outlive this powerful
These two stanzas from Carcamon suggest the poet himself.
“So through the chestnut groves he passed,
And through the land and far away;
He found la dame de ses pensees
To seek and seek and not to find;
It is thy fate, O restless Mind!” Poetry of an entirely different type is Perfume and Poison (Badger) by Vennette Herron, daughter of George É. Herron. The Two Twilights proves its author to be a gentleman of literary tastes, a follower of Alfred Tennyson. Vennette Herron's poems speak of emotions and emotions and then a few more emotions. They are another case of A Woman Free by Ruth (J. P. Rowny Press, Los Angeles), whose author, by the way, has proved herself a feminine Walt Whitman.
To say that poetry treats of emotions is far from slander. Poetry is primarily the articulate expression of the emotions, just as music is the inarticulate one. Passing over Give Me Your Heart and The Song the Vampire's Mistress Sings, both really good examples of decidedly tropical poetry, I cannot help quoting a few stanzas from a dear little piece, To Chico a Jungle Pet.
"Tiny, yellow muffin;
All this, are you not?
Cotton Noe's The Loom of Life (Badger) has just entered another edition. Just this one little poem, Hollyhocks, would justify it. “It may not be quite orthodox
To say so in society,
Of every known variety,
Are sisters sweet of charity, Fair nuns that wear a beauteous cowl,— God's priestesses unto the soul That lives in righteous poverty.” Another edition of Bunner's poetry (Scribners) will bring happily to mind that delightful verse so characteristic of the latter part of the last century, now too sadly lacking.
A really charming little collection, however, is Dreamers and Other Poems by Theodosia Garrison (George H. Doran). Just now this author resembles a Watteau among Cubists and Futurists.
Pen Cocktails from a volume of poems, Clouds, by Francis Lee Daingerfield (The Gorham Press) will delight any one fond of aphorisms.
Other volumes of verse of interest to poetry lovers are: The Trench Lad by Saxe Churchill Stimson (The Gorham Press), Poems, Sonnets and Sacred Songs, by R. M. Bartley (The Gorham Press), Seven Sonnets and Other Poems by J. Carey Thomas II (The Gorham Press), Main Street and Other Poems by Joyce Kilmer (Doran), and Sea Moods by Edward Bliss Reed (Yale University Press).
An attractive little volume is How God Made the Master Singer by Paul H. Linn (Badger). The book is an account of the development of David's power of song through suffering.
Noteworthy additions to Badger's Library of Religious Thought are The Divided House by Edwin E. Rogers, The Superne
“Warm wee golden watcher,
Sleeping at my feet; Witching little beggar,
When you wish to eat.
“Topaz-eyed and amber,
Plume-white tail and ruff, Big your bark and bite are
And your love's enough.