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Evans, Mildred (ed.) / Wisconsin literary magazine
Volume XVIII, Number 1 (October 1918)

Bridge, Dorothy E.
[Book review],   pp. 22-24


Page 22


A2,WISCONSIN LITERARY MAGAZINE
Sara Teasdale's "Love Songs."  Macmillan Co.          with their
environment; it is their wish to experience life and the
world; they love the feel of things.  These characteristics dis-
Such charm and simplicity as never before have seemed a0  tinguish them 
from practical people who systematically neg-
satisfying now appear in this collection 'Love Songs" by Sara  lect
all features of the universe which do not contribute to
Teasdale.  Miss Teasdale has for some time been one of the  the attainment
of food, clothes, and shelter, money-making,
foremost leaders in the conservative ranks of contemporary  and the maintenance
of respectabilities and, if possible, a
poetry. It is with much joy that we welcome this, her latest  family.
collection, containing as it does some of her most successful  Youth, says
Eastman, is the golden age of poetry; and ha
earlier poems together with new breezes of inspiration.     points out numerous
instances of the thrill and joy which come
Miss Teasdale chooses to make extensive use of the qua-  to youth as it discovers
new things about the world. In the
traire.  Her verses are short, swift, and dexterously twined,  youth of mankind,
long before literature existed, poetry ex-
Often she repeats phrases in a ballad-like form. At times  isted.  It existed
in the hearts of plain men and women who,
she breaks forth into quick, soul-deep exclamation, sparkling  recognizing
the necessity of names to recall experience, sought
in their impulsiveness.  She is altogether naiive and sincere,  and found
picturesque and expressive words. If we will go
Her poems seem to have been written with a full assurance   back into their
origin we will find that often the plainest-look-
of the faithfulness of her own emotions.  One cannot doubt   ing words sprang
from the poetic impulse.  For instance, sar-
that her love is sincere. She runs the gamut of emotional love  casm is "a
tearing of the flesh", retort is "a twisting back",
without boring us with heart-analysis.                      enthusiast is
"full of God". As words come down through
A  striking example of her exquisite Imagery is found in  the ages they tend
to lose their original poetic flavor, they be-
the poem called "The Fountain."    A  flock of milk-white   come
commonplace, and men seek new and lively words to
peacocks lie sleeping in the bule night, under a great white  express old
ideals.  For example, lurid exactly expresses the
moon. Miss Teasdale shows a fine touch of delicacy in her   character of
modern cheap newspapers, but men found it want-
suggestive descriptions.  On the other hand, there is nothing of  ing in
liveliness, and dubbed them yellow. Strangely enough,
reality in these poems, she does not paint human tragedy;   lurid itself
was born from luridus, a Latin word for "yellow".
rather, she carries us to the heights of emotional intensity, de-  It is
the poetic instinct which leads men to say "skyscraper"
tached yet indwelling.                                      instead of "tall
building".  The poetic in every-day talk is
Two sections of the book are devoted to miscellaneous poems,  not limited
to any range of objects or to any sweetness in hand-
unified by their key-note  the ferver of love. "Songs out of  ling them.
 It is simply the giving to any object, or thought,
Sorrow" contains even poems in which the poet expresses her  or event,
or feeling, the name that makes its nature shine forth
desire to be master of her own spirit. The last poem in the  to you.
book, "November Night," rather long, is full of beautiful     
The poetic framed into verses and stanzas possesses a
imagery, in the form of a dramatic monologue.               rhythm that lulls
the body and sets free the imagination, or like
There is not a jarring note in the whole book. What could  wine, excites
the body to the last degree of the intensity of
be more delightfully simple than this?                      real experience.
 The monotony that drowses us becomes
when we are lost to coarser things a turbulent and stimulating
The Look.                          stream along our veins.
Strephon kissed me in the spring,                    "The poetic, as
such, is not concerned with conduct or
Robin in the fall,                              with the conveyance of meaning,"
says Eastman. "But when
But Colin only looked at me                       one who is concerned with
conduct desires to convey a meaning
And never kissed at all.                        and conveys it poetically,
he adds to his speech a great and
separate power.  To read in practical language is to be told;
Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,               to read in poetry is to learn
by experience.  The poetry of
Robin's lost in play,                           words may be regarded as
a means toward the poetry of life.
But the kiss in Colin's eyes                         "The poet is the
prophet of a greater thing than faith. He
Haunts me night and day.                        goes behind all creeds and
theories and imparts by a straighter
-DOROTHY E. BRIDGE.           line from his mind to yours the spirit of bounteous
living.
Enjoyment of Poetry, b  y Max Eastman; Nenw York, Charles
Scribner's Sons; $1. 35.
Some books are written to inform, some to induce belief,
some to entertain, and some to spur to action; but back of all
worthy books lies a purpose to lead the reader to a larger and
happier realization of life.  Such a  purpose is evident in Max
Eastman's book on "The Enjoyment of Poetry".       That he
succeeds no appreciative reader will question.  Poetry under
his magic touch assumes a  new and fresh meaning; we are made
to understand that poetry is not confined to the written word,
but involves every-day life and living as well.  Some people
who have never written a  line of poetry are poets. A  man who
has never even read poetry may be a   poet.  Poetry is an at-
titude, a   relation, a  mood. Poetic people are lovers of the
qualities of things; they are engaged in becoming acquainted
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22
October, 1918
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