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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 11, No. 6. June 3rd, 1948

Lit. Soc. Study Group Discusses James Baxter

Lit. Soc. Study Group Discusses James Baxter

As to many Literary Society gatherings the most animated discussion at Weir House on March 25th took place in companionable groups when supper was present. Supper's presence should perhaps be intimated at the beginning of all meetings. It might dispel many member's inhibitions sufficiently to overcome the difficulty of getting somebody to collect material on a New Zealand writer for the Society to chew over.

Pat Wilson read for the first meeting a paper on James Baxter. His definite comments were obviously designed to offer ground for discussion and to probe members sufficiently to find that they did have opinions on the subject. The statement that Baxter was a young poet started some discussion—was he a young or old poet, is a poet necessarily young (it was wondered if a poet could be a mixture). Examination of his poetry was found most interesting and relevant to this point no apparent conclusion was reached but there seemed some agreement that the imagery of his poetry made him truly a New Zealand poet. It is interesting that Baxter is probably the only third generation New Zealand poet writing today.

But there was an evident reluctance to place Baxter in comparison with other New Zealand poets. It was felt that the available material was too slim for judgment and it was agreed that a future discussion of James Baxter would be profitable when his new book is published.

As the first meeting of the year of this discussion group, it was attended by a satisfactory number of those interested in this subject. It seems probable that the valuable discussions of 1947 will continue successfully. Notices of future discussions will be posted on the main notice-board and a cordial invitation is extended to all students.