Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 13. July 17, 1952
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor
Whose World Well Lost?
Sir.—I read the article by the E.U. in your last issue with interest Some of the insinuations showed full well that they themselves have-not given much thought to nor under, stood the human race. Any rational being must think seriously about the pros and cons of religion. We must decide whether there is anything in it for if there is the decision is important. Perhaps the reason for there being a "handful" of students in the University who are certain of their belief is that this modern education has taught us to reason, infer and deduct. ("Believing where we can not prove"—Tennyson—In Memoriam is perhaps their motto). They talk about tolerance. But do they realise that it cuts both ways? We listen to them and tolerate them in that way but we do object to having their beliefs jammed down our throats, But do they tolerate the unbelievers, oh no! One members of the E.U. to whom I spoke forcibly about my views walked off when he saw that he was making no impression with his argument and now acts in a lukewarm way towards me. Is that Christianity? As R. Buchanan says in his "Book of Orm": "Believing has a core of unbelieving. Besides the Bible what proof have the believers of the existence of a God? We may as well place our "faith" in the Koran."
One last word: It's easy to be afraid in a gang. It's easy to cast one's fears and burdens on an Immaterial object. But your six feet of earth is all you own in the long run and then—rot.
P.S. To those good, pure and righteous men: "The worst men give oft the best advice."—Bailey "Festus."
Sir,-I wish to thank "Salient" for the lengthy report of my address to the Literary Society on American Poetry, and also your reporter. "B.D." for the unenviable task of having to render down to "Salient'-size the mass of facts I presented. My method of trying to squeeze as much as possible into the alloted time must have made it difficult to report. As, however, one or two critical readers may hold one or two errors of fact against me, I should like to make a few adjustments:—
Harriet Monroe founded Poetry Chicago—not Ezra Pound, who was its first European editor. Pound was guest editor (as far as I know) of only one special issue of the Catholic Review. Hart Crane's "The Bridge" I saw as an allegorical pathway to last Atlantis rather than heaven, as the report states.
I did, and do not, think that MacLeish stood alone as a satirist during the 30's; nor would I care to go on record as finding that Cumming's poems swarl all over the page without maintaining their solid virtues. Cummings is also a painter, and the shape of his verse of the page is important to him. American poets hardly "sought refuge in neutrality but I think that their remoteness in 1939-40, from the scene of action, allowed them space of time in which to get a perspective.
I hope that these corrections do not seem too carping, but it is as well to make them.
[Mr. Johnson mentions the "Literary Society." Many people have made the error of calling this small group of people Interested in the study of literature the "Literary Society." This group was organised from the remainder of various, similar groups extant last year by a member of the English department staff. It is not the Literary Society affiliated or Incorporated in the Students' Association as it has not held an A.G.M. and elected officers.—Ed.]