Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 8, No. 7. June 13, 1945
Dear Sir,—There are, I understand, approximately 240 students taking English in Stage I at VUC this year. Most of these students have, I expect, obtained their copies of The Centuries' Poetry, Part 5, which is required reading; many, no doubt, have at least given the volume brief attention; further, a fair percentage of other students have had occasion to study it in detail in the past.
At a conservative estimate, I would say that half these ladies and gentlemen read Salient regularly; at least a quarter must have paid some attention to the mess of disjointed asininity which you published as "poetry" in your fifth issue. I suggest that they turn back to that particular issue, examine the "poem" by "Miss Aylesbury," and then give their earnest attention to the index of first lines in the above-mentioned volume.
Either Salient's editor is being deceived by some person with a uniquely distorted sense of humour, or Salient is playing a quaint little trick on its readers, evidently with considerable, and, may I add, commendable success. So far as a literary hoax alone is concerned, I should be the last to put pen to paper in condemnation.
But this is evidence of a most deplorable apathy and lack of observation among the students of Victoria College. It would he greatly amusing were It not so utterly pitiful. I cannot put into words ray very sincere grief at the prevalence of this attitude of mind among intelligent young people today, and yet we are told that the future of the world lies in the hands of such as these.
Barnum, I greatly fear, was only too right.—I am, etc.,