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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 3. March 20, 1952

Ballad Maker

Ballad Maker

James K. Baxter, author of the Sacred Cow, is a poet, married and studies at Victoria. He has had his work published both in anthologies in single volumes and other publications.

If you expect long hair, corduroys and a suggestion of carnation you will be disappointed. Baxter's hank of hair is distinctive but not Byronic and his leaning is more towards tweeds than corduroy.

After hearing him at a poetry reading one suspects—either that his voice dictates the mood of his poetry or that his poetry controls his voice. A soft almost whispering voice, slow and deliberate, suits his simple and often religiously themed verse.

This simplicity is, of course, not unintelligent simplicity but that kind which best indicates poetic depth, motives, ends and causes are serious enough but their deceptively, clear expression is an ideal for other New Zealand poets.

The quiet voice, the sometimes subdued manner and the photographs with the air of remoteness accentuate the poet. This Congress Ballad emphasises the ballad maker, the student sitting in the caf rather than James K. Baxter, the poet, author of:

"Recent Trends in New Zealand Poetry
"Beyond the the Pallisade";
Blow Winds of Fruitfulness."