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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 7. May 1, 1952

A Critic Answer Back

A Critic Answer Back

Sir.—If is was possible to do so Mr. E. H. Belford in a letter to the Editor which was printed in the last issue exceeded hid usual low level of criticism. I think that the Editor should have exercised his editorial function and refused to print such a travesty of the critic's art. However, in reply to Mr. Belford allow me to make the following six points.

Firstly, Mr Belford has confused criticism of his report with criticism of himself as an individual. I called his criticism "pretentious, childish, and stupid"—not Mr. Belford. Although of course if the report was stupid it is possible if not probable that the critic is stupid also—but I never said do.

Secondly, I definitely did not misquote Mr. Belford's report. I quoted him twice, directly from the "Evening Post," and upon checking I have found my quotations correct in every detail.

Thirdly. I did not attribute Mr. Belford with a high regard for any third-rate poet—indeed I doubt if Mr. Belford would know the difference between a first and a second or third-rate poet. I merely arrived at a farcical conclusion of an example of reasoning based on Mr. Belford's absurd comments as premises.

Fourthly, it was not my intention to use my space criticising the "Post's" review. To use words from Mr. Belford's letter. I "made better use of the considerable space allowed" me by making "a fair job of the review."

Fifthly, although according to Mr. Belford I have not been specific, I quoted and commented on two of Mr. Belford's inane comments, and that despite the fact it was not my primary aim to criticise the "Post's" report.

In conclusion, allow me to point out that poetry readings are not held to provide entertainment for a theatre audience, but for an audience peculiarly and especially equipped culturally for the appreciation of poetry.

—T. H. Hill.