Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946
[Letter from Vox et Praeterea Nihil to Salient Vol. 9, No. 9. July, 24, 1946]
Dear Sir,—Is "Salient" so short of material that it must print "Midsummer Ending" and "Slaves to the Tramp" in an otherwise excellent issue ? To the uninitiated PSW's poem seems a meaningless concatenation of fulsome words, with special emphasis on "fish" (used, contrary to custom, as an adjective). The author himself explained the plot to me (something about parting with a woman and knowing you are going back to her, apparently a familiar experience) but I doubt if I should have guessed it alone had I pondered for a week. If you must publish these droppings from the ivory lower, you might at least print a glossary and notes, so that the remaining two thousand of us (apart from the Pleiade who say they understand it) may have some inkling of what PSW means.
As for "Beetle," why the poor imitation of "Stalky"? Kipling could get away with it because he was a great writer and believed what he wrote. If this tramp really occurred, and is not merely a delicious figment of the author's imagination, could we at least have it without de-la-Mare-ish references to sleeping in Brussels (not a word, mark you about br-ss b-nd b-x-s) and swot notes from the Oxford Dictionary? Does "Beetle" imagine, in his colossal egoism, that the whole College Knows the pet names by which he labels his cronies? Knowing the gang concerned, I can guess at their identity, but I am sure that not all of us are in that delightful situation.
Vox Et Praeterea Nihil.
P.S.—"Fish" may be used as an adjective after all, e.g., "one fish ball."