The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1935
With his usual kindness Professor G. W. von Zedlitz again judged the literary contributions submitted to Spike. For the benefit of contributors we give his criticisms in full though space prevents us from publishing every article he mentions.
"The contribution most suitable for receiving the prize is The Man. It is quite satisfactory in form, has enough and not too much content for the length, and metre, rhythm and diction appropriate to the matter. Other contributions are more ingenious, or more amusing, or more thoughtful; none is so uniformly adequate. If this piece had been absent the choice would have been difficult. Probably I should have chosen Reverie, in a style of writing I respect because I could never achieve it myself; but I prefer not to be definite unnecessarily. Of the many other attractive contributions—without attempting to arrange them in any order of merit—I liked This Too Vast Silence for the genuineness of its thought, but was puzzled by the rhythms, in which I could not detect the purpose; in Ode to an Honours Student the gently condescending considerateness for the female student, with some doubts as to its justification; here the lines applied to her:
Deeming the fruits that learning brings
An ample compensation
For headaches, and such kindred things
As come with—concentration
forcibly suggests a much more appropriate rhyme-word. Libido puzzled me with its coolly writhing thighs, a phenomenon that has escaped my observation, but I thoroughly sympathized with A Memory of Lore. Hollywood Phantasy seemed to me very clever, but hardly to be judged either as poetry or as verse. A Wild Oat appealed to me strongly, and there are good points about Silences, though why the silences should be sudden is obscure, and the end is something ofpage break page break
Victoria University College Students, Association Executive, 1935.
J. P. Mules, B.Com., N. McLaren, W. R. Birks, LL.M., J. Grainger, A. H. Scotney, B.A., A. Harding, A. T. S. McGhie (Hon. Sec), H. R. C. Wild, LL.M. (Vice-Pres.), R. C. Bradshaw, B.Com. (Pres.), H. K. Hurley (Vice-Pres.), H. M. Mcintosh (Hon. Treas.).
an anti-climax. The Poet is a smart production, better if it were shorter; clever Banvillesque rhyming; the criticism of W.W. (of H.M.'s Inland Revenue Service), in spite of the weak second line, the forced word Siberian, and the mixed metaphor, will find an echo in many a student's heart:
For even Wordsworth's stony waste
Of wilderness Siberian
Has oftentimes a little taste
Of watercress Pierian.
Mademoiselle is also humorous, a good rattling Ingoldsby jingle; the writer should be useful at extravaganza time. He would stand an excellent chance for second place in this competition. Music is meritorious work on a well-worn theme; Surveyal puzzled me with the expression newfound brides—it made me think of the absent-minded professor who woke up next morning after his wedding day and exclaimed "What on earth is Miss Blank doing here?" The line And after death I cannot think, though not meant that way, needs re-writing. Barcelona is the best of the longer pieces in the group by one author, though the simile is overworked, and the expression the aching peace of home con-veys no meaning to me. But I prefer the shorter numbers, Lavoleta or Retreat. Calm speaks of sunset dawning in the West, a trouvaille com-parable to Montgomery's streams meandering level with their fount. The Mist is thoughtful and a highly creditable piece of work, but spoiled for me by the way the nouns are "invariably dogged" by epithets—this year's Latin students will be reminded of the Peleus and Thetis. And what of boards that groan with only empty husks? Some husks. Tom-Tom is good rhythmical prose and well written, but I am not surprised that the warriors turned down the old man, whose exact meaning is obscure.
"Taken all round, the entries to the competition are a better response than last year, in quality as well as in quantity."