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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 




mount st. mary's college : 1956 




This book is dedicated to 

Sister Marie de Lourdes, C.S.J., 

teacher of creative writing 

at Mount St. Mary's College since 1932. 

Without her 

early rain would not be. 

"The farmer waits for the precious 
fruit of the earth, being patient until 
it receives the early and the late rainV 

ST. JAMES v, 7 


Foreword: Paul Hackett 

Christmas Card: Lillian Pereyra 

Abuelita: Margaret Cain 

A Critical Analysis of Hopkins' "That Nature is a 
Heraclitean Fire": Claude tte Drennan 

Target: Patricia Fitzgerald 

Alii: Pat Ching 

. . . Ere I had Told Ten Birthdays: Theresa Hatsumi 

Spectrum: Beverly Turmell 

Paul Claudel: Prison and the Satin Slipper: Barbara Selna 

Three Cinquains: Pamela Brink 

"A Wedge-blade inserted" : Milania Austin 

Tight-rope: Carron Vincent 

Taus and Triads: Joan Carey 

Spring: Bruna Bernasconi 

Stevens' u Peter Quince at the Clavier": Mary Joan Storm 

Daydream: Carron Vincent 

Tender Years: Kathleen Burke 

Poinsettia: Mary Jo Rennison 

Trees: Danuta Krotoska 

Looking at Cezanne's Still Life: Claudette Drennan 

Please, Ben: Patricia Fitzgerald 

The Waters Between: Pat Ching 

A Lover Scorns His Love: Shirley Burke 

Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood": Sally Snow 

For Calming Ruffled Spirits: Milania Austin 

Study in Black and White: Carron Vincent 

List of Awards 









7 6 




The education of young talent is a delicate art. 

The talent is there, brittle as the first ice of winter on a 
pond, lonely as a single seagull circling a lost shore. It must 
be led forth gently. Then it must be left alone; the teacher's 
hand disengaged as a parent unfolds a sleeping child's hand. 
For the talent can only live in the deep solitude of aloneness. 

For a teacher then, one volume of her students' work is 
a tribute to a lifetime of effort. All of the poems, short 
stories, essays and criticism in this book have been written 
by students of Mount St. Mary's College under the direction 
of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. The selections have 
been printed elsewhere and have been written during the 
last five years. 

We are witnessing in America an emergence of a Catholic 
culture to match the faith. Literature must reflect the nature 
of this culture. Early Rain is a tribute to Mount St. Mary's 
College, to the mature talent of its students, and a slight but 
important creative contribution to the emergence of an 
American Catholic literature. 

Paul Hackett 



He's always pictured lying in a manger 
While mother arms above Him 
Are empty crossed upon her breast. 
Lying on cold stiff straw, 
Splintered wood surrounds Him 
And dust is haloed over His head. 
Why couldn't she have snatched Him 
From straw and wood and dust, 
And pressed His living body 
Against her living breast? 
— What others would be quick to do- 
But even then, she knew . . . 


First Prize $100 — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1952 



Hot, brilliant light poured into the little kitchen, blazoning 
gourd into scarlet life, stirring a few frenzied particles of 
dust, fingering the dried peppers hung in rows above the 
little stove, and stripping the shadows from the tired table. 
Old Maria shaded her eyes against the glare. 

"Caramba" she muttered. "It makes another hot day!' 

She pulled the curtains against the brightness and moved 
slowly to the cupboard, her shriveled body straight and 
small in the faded dress that hung from her shoulders. The 
cupboard door sighed open and Maria reached up, taking 
two cups, two plates. "Dios mio" she whispered, hastily 
shoving back one of each. "It is hard to eat alone. But old 
women must learn to eat alone. It is the way of life!' Once 
she was never alone. . . . Sometimes in the evening she 
would remember the old songs and try to hum them, but 
old voices should not sing young songs. Sometimes Manuel 
sang for her. Ah, he was so funny, with his jokes and his 
songs — Manuel! The old hand trembled with the silver. 

I must hurry, Maria thought. I must not be late. 

There was time to do the few dishes, straighten the little 
house, roll the tortillas for the evening meal — round and 
thin as a leaf. She slipped into the good dress and lifted the 
lace mantilla from the drawer where it lay folded, smooth- 
ing a wrinkled finger over it with a dry old laugh of pleasure. 
Manuel hated to see her wear it. "Abuelita" he would tease, 
"wear a hat and look civilized!' No, Manuelito. Not today, 
my grandson. 

Then the bundle with Manuel's things that she had packed 
last night, and Maria was ready to step out the door. 

The world seemed naked this morning in the malicious 
white light. Houses, peeling gray, cringed under slumped 
pepper trees. Everything is too bright, thought Maria, too 
blue and orange and white and green. It was days like this 

that Manuel loved, and his skin burned dark from the sun 
each summer. Would it grow pale now? 

She walked along in the gnashing heat. Dun-colored 
mongrels rooted around fences tipping drunkenly toward 
the street. Dusty children dashed past her in long black 
braids and faded blue jeans, with runny noses and skinned 
elbows. When I was young, children were gay, thought old 
Maria. Now they are just noisy. Her cracked shoes made a 
noise on the pavement like a whisper. 

A horn rasped suddenly, sharply, grating the lining of her 
thoughts, and an old car, painted violent red, grumbled by. 
Maria winced when she saw the moon-face of Pancho Lopez 
hanging from its window. Oh, that silly grin, and not a 
thought in his head except food and girls. So much more 
stupid than Manuel. 

"Mrs. Peralta!' he called, and the car swooped danger- 
ously close to the curb, jerking to a stop that shook all its 
parts. Maria looked at him warily. What did the child of an 
idiot have to say now? 

"Sefiora, how is Manuel?" he began eagerly, then stopped. 

"Manuel is fine" she answered shortly, with dignity. 

"I meant — we're all ... I mean . . . hope everything . . . 
uh, well ... I mean . . . It's a dirty shame anyway" he finally 
burst out. 

Al Rosas sat at the other side of the car, his face turned, 
dusky and secret, ignoring his friend's embarrassment. He 
flicked the tip of his cigarette with his fingernail. 

Maria waited. 

"Well, uh, like a ride, Mrs. Peralta?" 

His face was very close to hers. She noticed that his eye- 
brows straggled across the bridge of his nose. But he's only 
stupid, she thought. Not bad, not cold and dangerous like 
Al Rosas. 

Al Rosas is the smart one, the one who never gets caught. 
But Pancho does not get caught either. And Manuel is much 
more smart than Pancho. 

"No, gracias, I am not going far!' 

The car shot off with a great noise and much smoke. Man- 
uel had helped Pancho to fix it so that it would make the 
noise. But the smoke had defeated both of them. Maria did 
not understand why it was necessary to have the noise. Per- 
haps it is to prove that the car really goes. 

A boy swooped by on a bicycle, and plump, dark women 
came out of sad-eyed houses to sit on front steps and fan their 
moist faces. Old Maria shuffled on. 

Now she approached Rosa's Cafe, on the edge of Mexican 
town, a squat, square building with faded advertisements for 
beer and cola on its windows and greasy booths inside hiero- 
glyphed with carvings. Here the boys and girls gathered — 
taut, withdrawn youth with hair a little too long at the backs 
of their necks, and knives in their levis; girls with too many 
curls and too much make-up. 

Eddie Aguilar was standing outside the cafe in the shade 
under its awning. Even in the heat he wore his leather jacket, 
dark and bulky. He was alone, and his hulking body seemed 
suddenly bent and distorted in the heat waves. Maria won- 
dered why he was alone and why he stood in the heat, still 
and bent. He began tossing a coin in the air, catching it in 
one cupped palm and returning it to the other. It dropped, 
glinting to the ground, and he stooped to pick it up. As he 
straightened, his eyes met those of old Maria. He looked 
away and she passed him silently. She did not look back to 
see if he was still standing dark and alone under the awning, 
or if he had gone into the cafe. 

Perhaps soon Pancho and Al would come by in their car 
and he would climb in, still silent, and they would go off 
somewhere. She had never known where they went in that 
car. She used to ask Manuel, but he would say, "Oh, just out" 
and make a gesture with his hand suggesting some great 
shadowy world beyond her vision. 

She passed the very ends of the town, the old deserted 
streetcars, rusty, and curtained now with limp scraps of mate- 

rial, discouraged flowers growing around their wheels. Very- 
poor people lived in these, like Mrs. Rios, who was waving to 
her from the clothesline — Mrs. Rios, with a sick husband and 
so many children. The children wore the same dirty gar- 
ments, day after day — even slept in them, Maria supposed. 
They were thin, and whined. Too, people like Big Tomas 
lived here simply because there was no rent to pay and no 
utility bills. Here he could cheaply fill his few needs — a bed 
to sleep in, and an old wood stove to keep him warm. 

The air smelled of refuse from the dump across the road, 
but Maria was past it now and into the American neighbor- 
hood — a poorer one, almost as poor as her own neighborhood, 
but not quite. There were sidewalks here. 

A car passed her, and the woman driving it waved to 
Maria. It was Mrs. Cramer, and the car was the new one with 
the dent in the fender she had made parking too hastily; Mrs. 
Cramer was so funny a lady, with her rushing here and rush- 
ing there. Maria, so slow in her ways, often watched her with 
wonder; and Mrs. Cramer, looking at Maria trace carefully 
with her iron the sleeve of a ruffled blouse, would exclaim, 
"I declare, Maria, you amaze me, you're so patient!" Truly 
though, Mrs. Cramer was a good lady, and Maria liked her. 
After Jacinto was hurt in the legs and could not work any 
longer, it had made him angry that his wife must support 
him, but who could help it? So Maria went to work for the 
American ladies, cleaning and washing, and a little cooking 
perhaps. Jacinto was dead now, but she still worked for them, 
for there was Manuel. The American ladies were good, most 
of them, though a little foolish. Well, the ladies would not 
see old Maria today. 

Almost to town now, almost. The streets were a little wider 
in this section of town, a little neater, and street lights 
sprouted every hundred steps. Now she had come to the shop- 
ping district, rows of old brick buildings lately modernized 
with big windows to show all the wares inside and the reflec- 
tion of her own figure passing over them, dim as a ghost. It 

must be the Dollar Day, she thought, looking nervously at 
the crowds swarming the sidewalks — the orange ranchers in 
for the day, the children darting and screaming, the window 
shoppers and bargain hunters. They pushed past her small 
figure, drab and faintly smelling with an odor of garlic fixed 
in her body through the years. 

The police station was on a side street, green and tree- 
shaded, away from the shopping center. It was a small build- 
ing and a little shabby. Maria slowly climbed its steps, grunt- 
ing a little under her breath at the arthritic pains shooting 
through her back. She stopped at the door and looked around, 
wondering if anyone was watching, saying to himself, "What 
shameful thing has happened to Maria Peralta? Why is she 
going in the door of the police station?" 

She shuddered in spite of herself as she pushed open the 
heavy front doors and walked down the soiled corridor, 
brightened only by an occasional light-bulb hanging from its 
ceiling, the smell of smoke clinging to the cracked walls. At 
the end of the corridor was the desk of the sergeant. He was 
looking at her. She was not quite so afraid of him this time, 
even though his uniform was big and blue, and his manner 
stern and professional. 

"Mrs. Peralta" he said, rather than asked. "Down the hall 
and to your right!' 

"Gracias, senor'.' 

She turned, feeling as she did the cold grow inside her. 

"Wait" somebody called. She stopped and looked around, 
casually, in case the voice were addressed to someone else. But 
there was no one else in the hall, so she waited until the young 
man to whom the voice belonged ran up to her. 

She had seen him here before, with Manuel. 

"May I talk to you a moment, Mrs. Peralta?" he asked, still 
trying to catch his breath. 

"Certainly, senor" 

"Come into this room, please" he said, and opened a door. 

It was an ordinary sort of room with a desk and some 

chairs. The young man offered her a seat and started to sit 
down at the desk, then looked at her quickly and drew a chair 
to her side. 

He was very thin. His pale face was shiny and damp and 
his large eyes blinked nervously behind horn-rimmed glasses. 

"I won't keep you, Mrs. Peralta. I know you want to see 
your grandson!' 

"Yes'.' She looked at him questioningly. 

"I am Henry Gonzales, from the Juvenile Office. I would 
like first to apologize. There has been no room in Juvenile 
Hall, and that is why we have been forced to keep your 
grandson here!' 

He seemed to feel very bad about it. Maria made a depre- 
cating gesture. 

"Really, facilities are very bad — so crowded — " He paused. 

Did he have to keep apologizing? 

"Now, I have been assigned by the juvenile authorities to 
help you and Manuel. I am a social worker!' 

"Yes, sefior!' 

"We would like to know something of Manuel's back- 
ground. His parents are dead?" 


"Automobile accident, I understand!' 

"Yes, sefior!' 

"Now, you have raised your grandson, and you are respon- 
sible for him?" 

"Yes. I — have raised him!' 

"Now, has Manuel ever been in any trouble before?" 

She stiffened and felt her heart tighten. "My grandson is 
a good boy. He has always been a good boy!' 

The eyes blinked mournfully at her as if trying to read her 

"Manuel is quite bright, we've found from his intelligence 

"A priest" the sisters said when he graduated from the 
Catholic grammar school. 

"That didn't do it, though}' he murmured. "What about 

"Manuel had the — how do you say it — rheumatic fever 
when he was small, and so — " she shrugged her shoulders. 

His damp gaze bothered her. 

"I'm very interested in boys like Manuel!' He leaned 
toward her. "Very interested!' 

Maria nodded, still waiting. 

"There's something about teenagers — an urge to be aver- 
age, to fit the norm. They think that's the only way to be 
accepted. Boys like Manuel — Mexican-American — they're 
different to begin with. They can make it maybe by sports — 
the average, I mean. It gives them a reason for trying. If 
they're good at schoolwork, that's an incentive. The unusual 
boy makes it on the strength of his own personality. But most 
of them don't make that — average. So they fall back to one 
they can get — sometimes the wrong one!' 

His forehead looked moister. 

"It's a case of adjusting psychologically. Some of them 
don't know how. Like Manuel!' 

Manuel is supposed to adjust then? That is the word for 
why he has done this sin? That is why he is in this place? 

"I am sorry, sefior. I do not understand all these words 
about adjusting. I have tried to teach Manuel to be a good 
boy, but I guess I did not do so well. I think if I had taught 
him right to be a good boy, there would be no talk of adjust- 
ing!' She continued politely, "I am glad to know that you are 
interested in my grandson!' 

Should I ask him? 

She felt herself running her hand over the scar on her 
cheek. She drew it away quickly. Manuel had wanted so 
much to play with the kite. But it was raining, and she had 
told him that he must wait until he could go outside. He had 
taken it when she was not looking and run through the house 
with it. It had brushed against the flame of the stove. She had 
been frightened and snatched it from him quickly. Now she 


felt foolish to be fingering the ugly place where the burn 
had been. 

As long as I do not ask him I can still think maybe. . . . 
How could he know anyway? I will not ask him. Do I dare? 

"Senor Gonzales, what — what will happen to Manuel?" 

A door slammed somewhere down the hall, and a fly buzzed 
against the window. 

"Manuel stole a car, Mrs. Peralta. He resisted arrest. Now, 
it will depend — on a great number of things. The report of 
the Juvenile Office. The decision of the judge — I'm afraid 
Manuel will be sent to an institution for the correction and 
rehabilitation of delinquent boys!' 

"It is not the reform school, then? I have heard of that. It 
is bad!' 

He looked unhappy. 

"It is not a reform school. I wish people would get that 
through their heads!' 

Is he trying to fool me? It is so hot, I cannot think. 

"There will be good teachers. Manuel will learn a trade!' 

Shall I be proud, that my grandson will learn a trade — in 
the reform school? 

"Thank you, senor" she said almost absentmindedly. 

There were some papers then to sign, and at last she was 
finished. She must find Manuel. 

There was a thought about him that had slid by her back 
there. She must take time to find it, but not now. Ah, but 
here was the door. 

Inside was a dusty, bare room with a policeman standing 
fierce and blue at the other door. Manuel was sitting on a 
chair in the middle of the room between her and the police- 
man, looking so small, so young. There was a girl with him. 
Maria had never seen her before. Manuel's eyes were warm 
and bright and angry a little as he talked to the girl. Then he 
looked up and saw old Maria. 

"Grandmother" Manuel said awkwardly, stiffly. "I would 
like to present to you Dolores Garcia!' 

Was this that one Manuel called his "girl-friend"? She 
seemed to Maria just like the rest of the girls who walked by 
the little house in the mornings on their way to school — a 
cheap gabardine skirt tight on her narrow hips and a flimsy 
nylon blouse tucked at the waist into a wide elastic belt, black 
hair streaked blonde, lips smeared wide and red. 

Hmph, thought Maria. Manuel can do better than this. 

"Mucho gusto. If you will excuse us, my grandson and I 
must talk together!' With a flick of her head, Maria dismissed 
this Dolores Garcia. 

"A moment, if you please, Mrs. Peralta. I must tell you 
something!' The girl's speech was harsh and slovenly, but she 
seemed in earnest. 


"You must not blame Manuel for this — " 

"Dolores!' Manuel half shouted, his face dark with anger. 

"Be quiet, Manuel!' 

She turned to the old woman. "For a long time I have 
teased Manuel that he does not have a car like Tony Gomez. 
That he has to ride in the old one of Pancho. And I have told 
him that Tony has invited me to go for a ride in his car with 
him, and that I would like to go. Manuel has become very 
angry. And the idea has come to him that if he had a car, then 
I could ride in it, and that would make me happy and I would 
like him better than Tony Gomez. But he did not steal this 
car, he just borrowed it, so that he could take me for a ride 
in it!' The girl's voice trailed off as she became aware of 
Maria's glare. 

"You are a bad girl, Dolores Garcia, already to be taunting 

The girl's face crumpled as if for tears, and she turned and 
ran from the room. 

"You, Manuel Peralta. Are you not ashamed of yourself? 
To be so foolish and so bad!' Maria knew inside herself that 
these were not good things to say. "And now you are in the 
jail — because of a car" she added reflectively. "It is cars that 


cause all the trouble in this family. Your parents — " She 
crossed herself hastily. 

Manuel turned away with a jerking movement. 

"How else can I get a car of my own but steal it? I know 
boys who drive to school in their own cars — new, shiny cars. 
I will never have a car. I don't have a father who is rich, 
who will give me money to buy a car. I have only an old 
grandmother who works as a scrubwoman in other people's 

It hurt, that. 

"I have never been afraid to work for what I wanted. You 
could have earned money to buy a car!' 

"I couldn't even do that, I bet. I can't get a good job — I 
can only work in the packing house. I couldn't go to college 
if I wanted — I might as well go to jail!' 

"Manuel, you have never talked this way before!' 

"I have thought it!' 

"It is those bad boys you have for your friends. They 
have put these ideas in your head!' 

"They aren't bad. How do you know if they're bad? You're 
just — " 

"Ha — I know. That Al Rosas and Eddie — they have mean- 
ness in them. Oh — I have told you this before!' 

Manuel was silent. His face had washed dusty yellow these 
days, and his upper lip bore a shadow of dark fuzz. Then 
he said in a weary tone: 

"It doesn't make any difference anyway!' 

"If it made no difference, maybe you would not be here" 
she said cruelly. 

There was the thought now, the new sharp one. 

"Manuel, you are going to the reform school. The police, 
they are sending you to the reform school!' 

Manuel was shaking, and his eyes were bleak. 

"Don't you think I know it? Why don't you go home and 
leave me alone?" 

"I am sorry, Manuelito!' 


The thoughts were coming too fast. I am just an old 
woman. Maybe that is why I cannot think what to tell 

Henry Gonzales had known the answer partly, but not 
all. And she could not find the rest of it. 

There were the policemen in it, and the shame of the 
stolen car. And there was Rosa's Cafe in it, she knew, and 
the young people, and the darkness of their ways and their 
streets. And the Dollar Day and the big new windows, and 
the rusty streetcars, and the face of Dolores Garcia. 

And it has something to do with this, too, Maria thought 
to herself, touching the mantilla, with pride — and with 

And love — that was in it — having someone to love and to 
hold to. 

The old ways, her old ways, they were in it, and the new 
ways too, and Manuel somewhere in between. 

The answer was almost there, but suddenly it slipped 
away, and she stood staring dully at the boy. Then she held 
out to him the bundle she had been holding in her hand 
since she left the house. 

"Here are your clothes. And the toothbrush. I bought you 
a new toothbrush. And your jacket — " The bright shiny one, 
out of red and yellow satin, because we could not afford a 
black leather one like the jacket of Eddie Aguilar, and you 
begged for it so. 

"I do not think you will need it for a while!' It was a poor 
little joke, but then she was not very good at making jokes. 

Manuel smiled a little. "Gracias, abuelita!' 

"I would have brought your good suit, but there was a 
spot on it, and I did not have time to get it out!' 

"That's all right, grandmother. I don't need it!' 

"I will bring it tomorrow!' 

"Don't bother!' His voice strained. But he kept it low. 

"I will bring it!' 

«Oh— O.K'.' 


"It is warm now, but later on you will need it and . . !' 

The words trailed off. Because Maria suddenly realized 
why it was that she could not think what to tell Manuel. 

It was that the answer to this was different for everyone. 
That Manuel would have to find his answer for himself. May- 
be it was that this was the place he must come to find it. 

Then it was time for Manuel to go. He walked out the door 
with his head bent, and the jacket over his arm, like a 
misplaced banner. 

Old Maria turned, and walked down the dark hall. In the 
bright street a hint of a breeze was stirring, and she shifted 
the mantilla closer beneath her chin. "Dios mio" she thought. 
"Maybe it is the end of the hot spell!' 


First Prize $100 — Southern California Woman's Press Contest — 1955 



Gerard Manley Hopkins, the priest-poet whose works proved 
too "advanced" for his own Victorian period, dedicated his 
whole life to the search for spiritual reality. Reflecting this 
search, his poem "That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire and of 
the Comfort of the Resurrection" is a meditation on Christ 
and fallen man. This meditation develops in three distinct 
phases. Phase one compares Nature, beautiful in all her shift- 
ing patterns, to a great bonfire where old patterns yield to 
new by the destructive energy of fire. Phase two introduces 
a new thought which nature's panorama has suggested: Man 
is also subject to the laws of nature — he is swallowed up in 
nature's bonfire almost as soon as he emerges as an individ- 
ual. Phase three resolves the problem implicit in phase one 
and stated in phase two: Christ has promised that whoever 
believes in Him shall live; therefore, man's body, as part of 
His Mystical Body, is not ultimately subject to nature's flux. 

Because this meditation unfolds in the mind of a speaker 
who expresses his thought in dramatic monologue, intense 
emotion accompanies the development of each phase. In 
phase one, the speaker joys in the interworked patterns of 
nature, saying, "Delightfully the bright wind boisterous 
ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare/ Of yestertempest's creases!' 
Today's wind is rubbing out the pattern of yesterday's rain to 
create new patterns. In phase two, the first resolution or coda 
of the sonnet, the speaker expresses his distress as he considers 
the corruptibility of man, in the phrase, "O pity and indigna- 
tion!' In phase three, a second coda or reconsidered resolution 
to the sonnet, the speaker exults at the thought of final resur- 
rection in, "A heart's clarion! Away grief's gasping, joyless 
day's dejection!' 

A pattern of mental association is clearly the basis of this 
development by phases. The scene at which the speaker is 


looking takes form gradually as clouds suggest the wind 
which lashes the earth; this earth, muddy from yesterday's 
rain, has footprints in it, suggesting man; finally, the knowl- 
edge that these footprints are easily erased leads to the reali- 
zation that man, no less than his footprint, is quickly 
swallowed up in nature's flux. 

This over-all progression of meditation by means of 
thought-image suggesting thought-image is, however, a 
reflection of a complex network of implication inherent in 
all the words and phrases of the poem. The poem thus com- 
ments on reality in three distinct ways: the natural dimen- 
sion and quality of physical reality, the ontological structure 
of reality, and the theological implications of reality. 

To begin with the poem's level of statement, the words of 
the poem's first phase embody in their own image structure 
and their grouping with other words, phase one's emphasis 
on nature's flux. This flux is essentially a drama of pattern 
and movement. "Chevy" and "roysterers" are hunting images 
from Chevy Chase and Roysterer Falcon, implying that the 
clouds race in the sky like hunters. Primarily words of move- 
ment, they link with "flaunt forth" "torn tufts" "throng"' and 
"marches!' "Throng" and "marches" as words of pattern, how- 
ever, call up pictures of hunters moving in groups. These 
hunters mesh in the sky, to form patterns of "cloud-puff ball" 
"tossed pillows" and "gay-gangs'.' 

In associating sky patterns with patterns of clouds cut out 
by elm branches, the speaker's observations begin to move 
earthward. "Shivelights" are slashes of light patterned by elm 
branches, but restricted by their framework. "Shadowtackle" 
is both a pattern of tangled ship's tackle seen in the shadow 
of the hanging elm, and a suggestion that this tackle attaches 
the flying sails of the clouds above to the earth below. "Lash" 
combines the pattern of slash with the movement of slice. 
"Lace" combines the figures of lace with a down-reaching 
"(to) lace!' "Lance" is pure movement, but "pair" associated 
with it emphasizes the pattern in the actual thrust. 


The "bright wind" however, is the direct force which turns 
the speaker's attention to earth. This "boisterous" wind which 
"ropes, wrestles, beats earth bare" reminds the speaker that 
flux is the product of strife. Old patterns must be forced to give 
way to new. Only under pressure of stress does ooze give way 
to dough, dough to crust, crust to dust. 

Among the earth-images which reflect the pattern and 
movement of flux, "squadroned masks" and "foot fret" de- 
serve special study; for in Hopkins' time they connoted double 
meanings unfamiliar to the modern reader. On one level a 
"squad" is a pattern of bunched mud formed by the "masks" 
or starched outer coats of mud ridges. On another level, how- 
ever, taken from words of the same sound but different roots, 
"squad" means a slimy mud, and "mask" a mesh. Similarly, 
"fret" means both stress of erosion and an ornamental pattern. 

Space does not permit detailed analysis of phase two and 
three for the full picture of Hopkins' manipulation of imagery 
in describing the stuff of physical reality. Major images 
which characterize the poem as a whole, however, can be 
traced through the various phases to show the poem's basic 
image structure. The permeating presence of earth, air, fire, 
and water so evident in phase one persists throughout the 
poem. The air in clouds, the airbuilt thoroughfare, the spaces 
between the arch of elm branches, the wind of yestertem- 
pest's creases and the wind that beats earth bare, returns in 
phase two as the enormous dark, the night sky in which the 
man-star shines, and the vastness that blurs. Water in the 
clouds, the yestertempest, the pool, and in mud, now quenches 
man's spark and drowns him in the unfathomable sea. Wind- 
beaten earth and the various patterns of mud become first the 
flesh that fades, mortal trash, ash, the residuary worm and 
potsherd, then the carbon of immortal diamond. Fire in the 
sun that parches peel and dries pool repeats itself in nature's 
bonfire, in man's firedint, his spark, his star, the beacon, the 
beam, world's wildfire, the ash, the matchwood, and the dia- 
mond. To trace another major image, man's image through- 


out the poem is that of a bit of carbon lighted by a spark, and 
continually under stress of flux. He is a dint in the flame of 
nature's bonfire, a shining spark or star that combats dark- 
ness (as in "Manshape, that shone/Sheer off" — "sheer" here 
means both clear, translucent, and standing free of obstruc- 
tion), the mark which vastness blurs (implying that the light 
of his spark is blurred by the "enormous dark"), and the dia- 
mond which won its spark by withstanding pressure and heat. 

All images in the poem move to and are resolved in the 
reconsidered solution of the second coda. The fire of flux be- 
comes the eternal beam, the stress of flux the finality of ash 
which can no longer be changed by burning. Man's carbon 
spark becomes the immortal diamond. Even the minor images 
which built these themes echo in this final section. The hunt- 
ers appear in the trumpets and heart's clarion; the shadow- 
tackle and the unfathomable sea in the foundering deck. Old 
patterns return in the broken pieces of pottery, or potsherd, 
suggesting mud in pattern, and the patch suggesting lashes 
of lace. (Lash in Hopkins' time carried the connotation of a 
patch, coming from a mistranslation of the French "to fit a 
gusset!') The bonfire is implied in the matchwood. 

The full significance of these patterns of imagery, however, 
can be understood and appreciated only on the two other 
levels of the poem's comment on reality: the ontological and 
theological levels. Some insight into the poem's ontological 
comment can be gained in studying its title, "That Nature Is 
a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection!' 
Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher of the early Ionian school, 
who believed that all things are ultimately reducible to fire. 
Other elements were to Heraclitus mere differentiations of 
fire produced by stress and discord. The apparent permanence 
of water and earth was maintained by a continual upward 
and downward transformation of earth, to water, to fire — 
fire, to water, to earth. For the one source element of Hera- 
clitus and his contemporaries, Empedocles later substituted 
four specifically different elements: air, water, earth, and 


fire. Hopkins adapted the first three as symbols of becoming, 
and Heraclitus' fire as the symbol of being. 

After finishing the poem, Hopkins wrote to Bridges that he 
had just completed a sonnet in which a great deal of early 
Greek philosophy had been "distilled" but that the liquor of 
distillation did not taste very Greek. He spoke truly, for he 
not only adapted Empedocles to Heraclitus, but Heraclitus 
to Parmenides, evolving an essentially Christian philosophy. 
His Heraclitean fire has the permanence of Parmenides' con- 
ception of being in which "Being draws home to Being" 
(Hopkins' translation). Parmenides sees no flux, but only 
absolutes; Heraclitus sees no absolutes, but only flux. In 
Hopkins' distillation, being is the causal force of becoming. 

On one level of comment, then, Hopkins discusses the con- 
flict of being and becoming in man. Fire is the symbol of 
being. Air, earth, and water, as symbols of becoming, possess 
fires of being, but are subject to flux. Man is nature's "clearest- 
selved spark" or that composite of air, earth, and water fired 
by the most perfect order of being. The problem which Hop- 
kins solves in the poem is whether or not this more perfect 
order of being is also subject to becoming or flux. Hopkins' 
solution is that fire, as the cause of becoming, can also resolve 
becoming. In the poem fire causes becoming, since the sun 
draws water out of mud peel, forcing a new cycle of cloud, 
rain, and mud patterns; it resolves becoming by uniting 
man-spark with the "eternal beam" to produce "immortal 

On a third level of comment, however, Hopkins draws a 
Christian synthesis of Greek being and becoming which en- 
riches his meditation on Christ and fallen man with a theo- 
logical analysis of man's ontological relationship to God. The 
fire of being is God. The carbon of man's spark is his body 
made of earth and subject to change; and the spark itself is 
man's intellect and will made to the image and likeness of 
God. The problems posed by the hasty solution of phase two 
are first, how can the soul achieve its immortal destiny now 


that man has lost his physical integrity; and second, how can 
the soul achieve its beatified destiny now that man has lost 
his spiritual integrity? ("Integrity" here, for the purpose of 
this essay, is delimited to mean that thing which, because of 
its wholeness, is not subject to corruption. "Integrity" of the 
body in this context, therefore, means a preternatural whole- 
ness which was originally meant to preserve the body from 
physical corruption; "integrity" of the soul means that super- 
natural unity of will and intellect preserved by grace from 
the discordance of will to intellect characteristic of sin.) 

Man's loss of physical and spiritual integrity is most clear- 
ly expressed in Hopkins' line, "nor mark/Is any of him at all 
so stark/But vastness blurs and time beats level!' "Stark" 
means that which stands out clearly by reason of its hardness, 
and, by transference, one who stands out by reason of his 
authority, dominion, power, or might. The body of man, then, 
should be impervious to corruption by reason of his soul's 
dominion over the forces of nature. Both "firedint" and 
"mark" or soul and body, were, however, plunged into the 
"enormous dark" of sin when the soul first lost the light of 
sanctifying grace. When this "vastness blurs" the image and 
likeness of God in man, time beats level his physical body as 
the "wind . . . beats earth bare/ Of yestertempest's creases!' 

Man's recapture of his physical integrity through the res- 
toration of his spiritual integrity is especially clear in the 
resolving lines of the poem, "This Jack, joke, poor potsherd, 
patch, matchwood, immortal diamond,/Is immortal dia- 
mond!' In the "potsherd" of the poem, man's body, created 
from the slime of the earth, takes a more symbolic form than 
his likeness to the mud creases that time and wind beat level. 
St. Paul says that man carries his treasure in earthen vessels. 
A potsherd cannot hold any treasure because it is no longer 
part of a whole vessel. Moreover, pottery is usually breakable 
by a fall. The body of man lost its integrity by man's spiritual 
fall from the supernatural state to which sanctifying grace 
had lifted him. The "patch" however, is the clay vessel 


mended and restored to wholeness by a new infusion of sanc- 
tifying grace, or the fruit of Christ's redemption. Though man 
no longer possesses integrity of soul or body, he is at least able 
to hold his treasure. 

Both "potsherd" and "patch" however, are only part of a 
symbolic sequence which leads to the climax of the poem. As 
"Jack" man is seen as a common fellow, a common object, 
made of mud and one with nature's flux. As "joke" man is 
common but laughable, for he presumes to a supremacy of 
being which nature does not recognize. As "poor potsherd" 
he is less laughable, for once he did possess supremacy. As 
"patch" he regains supremacy over his soul, and as "match- 
wood" he has a potency of being or fire in him that can, if 
ignited, convert his "matched" pieces of potsherd into a 
glorified body indifferent to nature's flux. 

The culmination of this sequence, "immortal diamond" is 
a final and fitting symbol of man's body as it will be when he 
rises glorified. First of all, it has integrity. The smallest par- 
ticle of diamond is an integral whole, possessing a spark of its 
own. This risen body is not, however, the one man would have 
had if he had never fallen through sin. The diamond is carbon 
given immutability by pressure and heat. Symbolically, 
man's carbon is subject to pressure in the stress of flux, and 
to heat in the fire of Divine grace reorganizing his scattered 
faculties. Only by a painful melting process, or complete gift 
of free will back to God, can the pieces of the "patch" be fused. 
The "immortal diamond" of this fusion, however, is still 
made of earthly carbon. Man will retain his physical body, 
but it will be glorified by an eternal spark. 

This particular synthesis of theology and the Greek phi- 
losophy of being and becoming is entirely characteristic of 
Christian thinkers. Hopkins, however, has made the process 
graphic, showing by means of imagery that the problems 
posed in the becoming of flux and the immutability of being 
are solved through the new insight gained by revelation. Man 
can achieve both his immortal and his beatified destiny be- 


cause Christ, the "eternal beam" shines across man's "foun- 
dering deck" and by the lighthouse "beacon" of sanctifying 
grace guides him through the darkness of sin. If man so wills, 
death of soul can no longer "blot black out" the image and 
likeness of God in him. In and through Christ, man regains 
first the integrity of his soul, and eventually, at the General 
Resurrection, the integrity of his body. 

Critics sometimes evaluate poems for their fresh insight 
into familiar experience. This criterion is valid, but it may 
tend toward mere enumeration of new insights. Familiar and 
unfamiliar elements in "Heraclitean Fire" have already 
revealed themselves through explication of the poem's three 
levels of comment. What of this poem's value as a work of art? 

St. Thomas Aquinas defines beauty as "That which on be- 
ing seen, gives pleasure!' This pleasure is an intuitive joy we 
have in knowledge — not the joy peculiar to knowing, but a 
joy superabounding and overflowing because of the excellence 
of the object known. This object is excellent because it con- 
forms in some way to an ideal of perfection which man pat- 
terns after the perfection of his own mind. A beautiful thing 
possesses integrity because the mind likes being, order because 
the mind likes unity, and lightness or clarity because the 
mind delights in light and intelligibility. 

"That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire" has the essential integ- 
rity, order, and clarity which makes it beautiful. Its essential 
integrity is found in the relationship of each word to all other 
words in the poem. The permeation of major themes into 
every sequence of thought, and the development of images 
on literal and symbolic levels, are other aspects of the poem's 
integrity. Hopkins' perception of the essential unity of appar- 
ently disparate things constitutes the essential order of the 
poem. Themes and images are a study in the organization of 
unrelated objects. The lightness and clarity of the poem are 
brought about by Hopkins' ability to make integrity and order 
come to life. Nothing is forced in the poem. In fact, every 
word seems the right word, the inevitable word. 


This integrity, order, and lightness make Hopkins' poem a 
thing of beauty. Because it is beauty seen and interpreted by 
man, it is an art object. Whether or not it is a great work of 
art now depends on the nature of the truth it embodies. Beau- 
ty is truthful, and truth beautiful, but grades of truth corre- 
spond to grades of reality. I see the poem as a great work of 
art because it deals with the highest type of reality, spiritual 
truth. The problem of being and becoming is the most impor- 
tant question that man as man has to face. When man ponders 
this question, he is placing the highest act of which he is 
capable. When he ponders it in a work of art, he is creating 
a great work of art: for he interprets creatively the most 
perfect act of man. 


First Prize $100 — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1954 


The supermarket was shining with aluminum tipped shelves. 

I stared at the canned beans 

Red beans, green beans, navy, kidney, string. 

Two aisles down, the fattish schoolteacher 

With thick glasses insisted to the attendant 

That cane sugar was inferior in this state 

As someone somewhere dropped two milk bottles 

And I could smell fresh liver and hear cash register bells. 

Below us the earth began to quake with bombs; 

My market basket rolled past the corn into canned peaches, 

And a huge man's glasses fell off as he tried to prove 

Cane sugar's universal quality. 

I knew I wouldn't need the groceries, 

But I wondered why the sirens hadn't warned us. 


Honorable Mention — Atlantic Contest — ^955 


O my father, 

Wake to the silences of our love. 

There were many, in our bell-days, 

When pink hands opened for the tinkling mobile 

Blossoming in the banyan. 

At that time, the sweetness of one, though not of you, 

Was such that set your love quietly spilling; 

Under these skies, my father, the white peace of Hauula* 

Was ours. You taught me 

The dance of the one-eyed crab, 

The dance of iliko,* flashing between sun and sea, 

The pose of he'e,* hanging spider-like in the depths. 

Mostly you taught me the call of the conch — 

Voice of our sea, sea of our love. 

Smilingly, you followed the dancing daughter; 

The sun shone warmly on you, my father, 

With shoulders of mahogany and head like glistening lava 

Now no longer you, my warrior-alii,* 

But warped like driftwood on the bay of Hauula, 

A remnant — twisted, stark. 

Then came the silences of shame, sting of young blood. 

The bells are ringing loudly and grandly 

Down to the sea. That scurrying figure . . . 

No dancing, no flashing mermaid. She fears 

Your slow, uneven hobble, father, 

And unseeingly hurries on. 

Oh, the bells echoed grandly, of a Sunday morning, 

For the old man of the hill . . . 

The dances are long gone; the melody dies. 

Hauula — a white-sanded bay on the windward side of Oahu 
Iliko — small silvery fish 
He'e — octopus 
Alii — king, nobility 


Too long, you have witnessed the fading figure. 

Oh, my father, shall I forget too the rain sweeping seaward, 

The night whisper of palms? 

Sleep now, my father, with the kiss of the mermaid. 

Sleep, warrior-alii, with the shoulders of mahogany 

And hair like the white sands of Hauula. 


Prize Poem — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1955 



Today it is raining, the room is quiet, and from the window 
I can see the distant mountains softly breathing in the fog. 
Tomorrow will bring the blue California sky back again, and 
the wind will play with the high sparkling waves. But now, 
between these passing moments of quietness, solitude, and 
the undying melody of sadness in the rain, I sit and think of 
my home far away in the Orient. 

Why is it, I wonder, that when my thoughts roam to the 
land where I was born, it is not to the Japan which I left half 
a year ago, but to the days that are long since gone, and in 
my reveries I am a child again. 

Oh, to be lying again upon the velvet green, listening to 
the gentle breeze sigh among the boughs, to the doves cooing, 
to cherry blossoms in spring, with their clouds of pale pink 
showering at the slightest touch of wind. And to feel the last 
ray of sunshine in the pale blue above; to listen to the chil- 
dren sing on their way home the songs of evening and the 
setting sun. 

To awake in June when day after day dawns on the silver 
gray sky, and to the quiet whisper of raindrops upon the roof; 
to see the willows wreathed in drizzling rain, the lotus flow- 
ers swaying in the stream; to see once again the bright days 
of summer — the season of the lantern festival, and folk dance 
under the moon, of the scent of incense floating in the dusk, 
bonfires burning to greet the ancestral spirit, and the monot- 
onous melody of chants wavering up into the evening sky. 

Autumn hills are covered with brocade of crimson maples 
now and with yellow maiden-hair trees beneath the deep 
azure of the sky and the dazzling white clouds sailing high 
above. In our garden chrysanthemums begin to bloom, and 
crickets sing, "Mend you cloaks, winter is coming!' 

Slowly the year grows old, and the trees become bare. Char- 


coal begins to glow in the braziers, and the bent figures of old 
ladies gather around the fire to warm their wrinkled hands. 

To my early years belonged the wind and the rain, sun- 
shine, blue sky, mist of June and the falling leaves of autumn. 
It was a life of peace and tranquillity, a life of grace and slow 
moving time. There in our garden with its green stretch of 
lawn, cool dark groves, tiny teahouse and the sparkling cas- 
cade running over the rocks, life flowed on. 

Cut off almost completely from the outside world, the only 
playmates I had were my brothers and sisters. Together we 
made the camellia leis in spring, or sat beside the pond and 
watched the golden carp flash through the green depth below 
... or waited under the persimmon tree for my brothers to 
throw down the shining fruits until our baskets were full. 

The echoes of laughter ring in my ears as I run through 
the long corridor of my ancestral home, under the high dark 
ceiling to the small tea-house over the stream. Once again I 
am playing with the dolls on the matted floor of my mother's 
room, beside her ebony writing desk, gold-lacquered callig- 
raphy set, and the three-stringed lyre hanging on the wall. 

Long reaching fingers of the afternoon sun play upon the 
painted slide roors; old cloisonne vases and carved ivory 
statues shine dimly on the dais. The air is quiet while my 
mother sits at her embroidery rack, working on black satin 
with gold and silver threads, and I watch the shapes of peonies 
and crane slowly appear under her dexterous fingers. Then 
again I see the graceful movements of my mother as she goes 
about the room, arranging irises in a celadon porcelain, or 
leafing through the volumes of ancient poems and philoso- 
phy. I can hear her low melodious voice pondering over a half- 
formed verse, and see her beautiful calligraphy upon the 
opaque Chinese papers. 

Together with my sister I helped her adorn the tables on 
the dolls' festival day — all our antique dolls have come out 
from their paulawnia confinements to line in state upon the 


crimson carpet. Emperor on his throne, lords and ladies in 
court dresses, their tiny gold fans and silver swords shining 
in the flickering candle light; warriors in scarlet armor with 
bows and arrows on their back; musicians playing their flutes, 
lyres, drums; white horses, paper framed lamps and tiny 
mandarin trees. It is the feast for the girls — an occasion for 
dressing up, parties, cakes and white wine. 

In July comes the celebration of the stars: the only night 
in the year when the Herdsman crosses the Celestial River to 
meet the fair Weaving Maid. How we used to decorate the 
bamboo tree, with multicolored papers, straw balls and tiny 

New Year's festival — seven days of gaiety and merrymak- 
ing. Tables were laden with food and sweet wine; pine trees 
and tangerines bedecked house-gates; streets swept clean, and 
servants going home in their fineries. 

Thus the years came and went, each one bringing a little 
more wisdom and a little less dream. One by one my brothers 
went away to school, and my sisters left our home to join those 
of their husbands. The old house became even more vacant 
and spacious, with the scent of age and antiquity clinging in 
the dark corners. 

I remember my father's study, austere and cold, with no 
sound but the quiet rustle of pen, stacks of old manuscripts 
reaching the high ceiling; his immovable profile as he delved 
into ancient philosophy. We seldom dined together, and it was 
rare that he spoke to us. Every once in a while I would see his 
little stooped figure sauntering in the garden, now and then 
stopping to finger a dwarfed pine tree, or to gaze at the wis- 
teria hanging from the arbour. Or he would stop me in the 
hall and say, "Are you studying hard, my child?" and then 
"Good, good" to my invariable "Yes, father!' 

Indeed my education began to take up more and more of 
my time. Every morning I sat in my mother's room, with a 
book of Confucius on the desk, my voice faltering after each 


word, as she pointed them out one by one with a long ivory- 
stick. And those afternoons spent in quiet warfare with my 
tutors — how I hated the long, tedious hours of brush writing, 
flower arrangement and tea-ceremony. I remember sitting 
demurely in the small tea-room with my teacher — a vener- 
able old lady, listening to the water sizzling in the engraved 
iron pot, smelling the incense, and the bitter fragrance of 
thick green tea, all the time worrying that my feet would go 
to sleep. 

"What is 97 times 143? In what dynasty was the land 
reform law established? Who were the three greatest poets in 
the Heian Period?" What did I care? It was more fun to run 
outside and sit in the flower-bed, and listen to our old gar- 
dener's stories of Tongue-cut Sparrow and the Princess who 
was born in a bamboo tree, or watch him make a miniature 
garden with tiny shrines, red round bridge and a stream of 
white shining sand. 

Or to slip into the cellar, that was even more fun. I could 
spend hours playing with the time-honored costumes, covered 
with embroideries. History came alive — while I watched the 
ancient swords shine cold and blue in the semi-darkness, or 
fondled the lacy combs and hairpins made of tortoise shell. 

"Wait till we send you to school" my father would say, 
slyly winking. "Then you will learn something" 

Oh how I dreaded the day of horrible doom — to live with 
hundreds of children whom I had never seen, away from 
home, rooming with others, dining in community. 

However much I feared and protested, the day came when 
my tutors were dismissed, and my education at home was 
over. One spring afternoon, I said goodbye to my father, and 
left our home. After an hour's drive our car glided through 
the white stone gate with its carving of the Sacred Heart, and 
wound its way under the flowering cherry blossoms, to the 
bronze dome towering above the woods. 

A veiled figure came forward to greet us from the mys- 


terious gloom of the convent parlour: "So this is the baby of 
your home. Don't worry, she will be happy here!' 

Gazing at the disappearing car, I felt homesickness grip my 
heart. I felt as if a part of myself was going away from me. 
And, in a way, it was true. It was my childhood that ended, 
'"Ere I had told ten birthdays!' 


First Prize $250 — Cabrini Literary Guild Contest — 1950 


I watch your face, your baby ways: 

Feel regret in seeing you 

Grasp the sides of the 


Crib which restrains you. 

I watch you 

Growing up, little boy. 

My regret is growing: 

You've tested your footing, try to 

Walk in the 


Fields wavering in the breeze, and tumble, 

Yet I know you're 

Growing up, little boy. 

My regret grows stronger: 

I watch you intent on your 

Coloring book and break a crayon of 


Not unlike yourself in color: 

I hate to see you 

Growing up, little boy. 


Second Prize — Redlands University Robert Browning Contest 



Paul Claudel challenges the readers and spectators of his 
Satin Slipper to understand the picture he paints — a picture 
"whose subject is everything!' In his preface to the readers of 
the English translation (Sheed and Ward) he says that the 
whole drama is unified in one vital point, "That vital punc- 
tum which centres everything'' But Claudel seems skeptical 
that anyone will find the punctum. However, he challenges 
every reader to "look out for it and please don't be angry if it 
slips between your fingers like a flea!' 

I should like to suggest that the "vital punctum which 
centres everything" — the symbol which unifies in large meas- 
ure the exuberant variety of the drama — is the prison. This 
prison symbolism is not a new idea with Claudel. In his plays 
men are captives in many kinds of prisons. His general pre- 
occupation with the paradox of freedom in following out 
one's own will which issues in slavery, and imprisonment in 
God's will which brings freedom, has long been recognized. 
In the Satin Slipper and elsewhere the prison symbol is used 
to objectify the truth that "He who secures his own life will 
lose it; it is the man that loses his life for my sake that will 
secure it" (Matt. 10:39, Knox tr.). 

In the Satin Slipper, action, poetry, character, theme, scen- 
ery, all are related to this central symbol. The basic theme 
underlying the action of the play is the ransoming of prison- 
ers: prisoners of passion, selfishness, ignorance; prisoners of 
imperial tyrants, and even of actual walled dungeons. The 
poetry of the play employs the prison image about twenty 
times. This is at least as often as any other single image 
occurs, except for the sea (called the "chief actor in the 
whole drama"), which occurs more than thirty times. 

This article first appeared in Renascence, Vol. VII, no. 4, Summer 1955, lead 
article. Permission to reprint has been given. 


The play, moreover, is framed structurally by the prison 
symbol, since the opening and closing lines speak of prisons. 
Also, the changes of atmosphere within the play depend upon 
the progress made in the general ransoming of prisoners. See, 
as just one example, the lightened atmosphere at the begin- 
ning of the Fourth Day, after Prouheze's ransom from all 
finite prisons by death. More important, however, than these 
functions of the prison symbol, are its uses as it focuses some 
of the meanings of the drama. 

Not only the action and poetry of the Satin Slipper are cen- 
tralized in the prison symbol, but the important characters 
exemplify types of prisons. These characters may be classified 
in two sets as we shall show, according to their two kinds of 

The themes of the drama also refer to a type of prison. 
These themes are stated in the two parts of the epigraph: 
"God writes straight with crooked lines" (a Portuguese prov- 
erb) and "Even sins" (St. Augustine). Both sins and crooked 
lines refer to the prison of created goods when sought as ends 
in themselves. This notion will be clarified when we examine 
the realities symbolized by the prison — the meanings behind 
the symbol. 

Finally, even the physical scenery, especially of the crucial 
scenes uses prisons. Only a few of these scenes can be men- 
tioned here. First, the Jesuit priest, Rodrigo's brother, is fet- 
tered to the mast of a sinking ship — this loss of freedom is a 
kind of imprisonment. Then, Dona Isabel, Prouheze, and 
Musica are all behind bars or under strict guard, on the First 
Day. On the Second Day, Honoria and Pelagio speak of Prou- 
heze's imprisonment: "Time was when my lady would have 
been provided for (in) a very good strong prison!' And Prou- 
heze's struggles to be free are described as being like those of 
"a crazy creature who escapes from prison on all fours like a 
beast across the ditch!' On the Second and Third Day, Prou- 
heze is Camillo's prisoner in the fortress of Mogador. The 
double shadow and the moon are stamped upon walls, and con- 


fined there. Finally, in the last scene, Rodrigo is imprisoned 
in chains. 

The prison symbol is relevant, then, to action, poetry, char- 
acters, theme, and scenery of the Satin Slipper. But more 
important than the presence of the symbols are their mean- 
ings. These meanings are many and paradoxical and require 
some knowledge of Claudel's philosophy in order to be 

First, the prison symbolizes a threefold dependence: a) de- 
pendence upon the Creator; b) dependence upon other crea- 
tures; c) dependence of the human spirit upon matter. The 
first dependence is necessary and unchanging, for creatures 
by their natures are not self-sufficient. In Claudel's terms, 
dependence upon God, when fully accepted brings freedom. 
The prison of the interdependence of creatures is shown in 
the play by man's need for human companionship, and by his 
reliance upon angelic guidance. Finally, flesh is a prison for 
man's spirit, since matter limits spirit; that is, it confines man 
to space and time. 

The prison, in the second place, symbolizes spiritual priva- 
tion of freedom — the walls of sin. Unruly passions bar man 
from the freedom of orderly submission to God. This submis- 
sion to God, which appears to be a prison, is the sole source of 
true freedom. Hence the privation of freedom because of sin, 
is the second and chief meaning of the prison symbol. 

With these ideas as a basis of understanding, we can now 
examine the system of symbols in the Satin Slipper. The 
notion of prison underlies the symbolism of persons, things 
(of earth and beyond earth), and plot. 

The persons symbolize the two ways in which men seek 
freedom. Since all men are imprisoned by the walls of depend- 
ence and of sin, all men seek to be free from these shackles. 
Claudel divides his characters into those who seek freedom 
directly and those who seek it indirectly. He indicates this 
division in the second scene: 


. . . there are two roads going away from this house. 
The one . . . like a neglected skein — bears from here 

straight to the sea. . . . 
(The other is a) road among the broom and climbing 

among the scattered rocks. . . . 

The "house" is the place where Dona Prouheze has been 
confined while her husband was away. From this prison she 
makes her first attempt to escape. She has a choice of roads. 
She chooses the indirect road to freedom, and following this 
pattern her life will go along the winding way (the "crooked 
lines"). The direct road would have been that of obedience 
to her husband, but she chooses the other way of elopement 
with Rodrigo. This road does not lead to God, but scatters 
her among the broom and rocks of evil. 

Men who choose the direct road which bears "straight to 
the sea" are those for whom "the understanding is enough. 
'Tis the spirit that speaks purely to the spirit" (p. 175). But 
most men choose the indirect road, climbing among the 
scattered rocks. In them "the flesh . . . must be gradually 
evangelized and converted!' The play itself, then, justilies 
the following division of characters: 

Those who choose the direct road 

1 . The Jesuit Priest 

2. Dona Musica, the Neopolitan 

3. Don Juan, Dona Sevenswords 

4. Don Rodriguez, Dona Austergesila 

Those who climb the rocks of indirection 

1 . Dona Rodrigo 

2. Dona Prouheze 

3. Don Camillo 

Both sets of characters are prisoners, but those who choose 
the direct road find that, paradoxically, their prisons give 
them freedom, not misery. For example, the play opens with 
the thanksgiving of the Jesuit priest who rejoices at his being 


fastened to the cross of his sinking ship's mast. Although he 
is physically in fetters, he knows he is spiritually free: 

. . . now the day of rest and relaxation is come, and I can yield my- 
self to these bonds which fasten me (to) my cross, floating ... on 
the free sea. . . . 

Dona Musica is never shown except as a prisoner. Prouheze 
keeps her captive in the inn; she is imprisoned in the forest 
after her shipwreck since she has not the necessary passport 
papers. Although she escapes with her lover, the Viceroy, she 
says she is still imprisoned, for she calls him her prison: "I 
have a prison, and no one can get me out of it. . . . The arms 
of the man I love; she is caught, wild Musica!" In the end, 
then, Musica, though always a prisoner, finds freedom 
through love. This love is the recognition of dependence upon 
another being. Hence it is a prison, but not a confinement to 
misery; Musica therefore, by joyful acceptance of her prison 
of love, finds happiness, God, and Freedom. 

Each of these direct travelers finds freedom from man- 
kind's many prisons through joyful acceptance of God's will. 
By imprisoning themselves in God, as it were, they attain 


The second group of characters are those who go to God 
indirectly — by following their own wills at first and only 
later turning to Him. They are the "climbers among the 
scattered rocks!' The clue to understanding their way to God 
is given in the prayer of the dying Jesuit, Rodrigo's brother: 

My God, I entreat You for my brother Rodrigo! . . . 
And if he desire evil, let it be such as shall be 

compatible only with good 
And if he desire disorder, such disorder as shall 
involve the . . . overthrow of those walls which 
bar him from salvation, 

I mean him and that multitude with him which he is 
darkly implicating. (Italics mine) 


The walls of Rodrigo's prison are chiefly ambition, sensuality, 
and inordinate attachment to Prouheze. The overthrowing 
of these walls involves multitudes of people; it also involves 
all the realities and complex symbols of the things of earth 
and of the wider universe, the other characters who travel 
the indirect road, and the whole plot itself. 

First the plot: Rodrigo early tries to avoid the governor- 
ship of the Spanish royal colonies in America. While con- 
fessing his love for Prouheze, his words are interrupted by 
the battle in defense of St. James in which he is wounded. 
Prouheze will not come to him, and he later follows her to 
Africa and invites her to come with him to America; she 
refuses. His love for her rises and falls like waves on the 
ocean. Finally, Rodrigo accepts the bond of "that great law 
which sunders us"; only then does he truly love Prouheze 
as God's creature. The resulting union of their wills is so 
complete that the Double Shadow scene (p. 126) shows them 
as spiritually married through their mutual acceptance of 
God's law, although this same law and half the distance 
around the world prevent their physical union. 

What is the universal significance of this rambling plot? 
How are its themes illustrated by the Portuguese proverb 
and St. Augustine's words? How is the action of the drama the 
ransoming of prisoners? These questions are only answerable 
through analysis of the themes (sun, stars, moon; wind, seas, 
shadows, walls, lands of the earth) and characters which are 
"darkly implicated" in Rodrigo's actions. 

The sun stands for the light of God which is in us as 
natural reason and in Him as justice and objective law. The 
sun is natural reason in such phrases as "this accustomed 
leaden flame" (p. 34), "little peering suns" (p. 255), and 
the "dim little sun going off and on" in Manchiavelle. 

In other places the sun is God's justice, for example, where 
the Moon says of Prouheze: "Poor plant! Has she not had 
enough to do all day to defend herself against the sun?" 
(p. 128). Here she is defenseless against the objective law 


which forbids her to marry Rodrigo. This same meaning for 
the sun is in such phrases as: "A man cannot go wrong who 
takes the sun for guide" (p. 28), and, the map of life is the 
"way of the sun" (p. 179). 

In conjunction with the sun, the stars symbolize the per- 
fection of creatures who participate in God's light, therefore 
they refer to the angels and saints. Prouheze's Guardian 
Angel is a star over Japan (p. 167); St. James is a constella- 
tion (p. 97). The stars are the "peopled heavens" (p. 36). 
When Prouheze dies she becomes a guiding star to Rodrigo 
and others — a star "flaming in the breath of the Holy Spirit" 
(p. 174). Finally, since every person is potentially a saint, 
there is in every person, "that star in the deeps of her which 
she is without knowing" (p. 37). 

The last symbol in this class is the moon. It is a symbol 
and also the explicit voice of the light of God's mercy. In the 
moonlight, "all creatures together, all beings . . . are drowned 
in the compassion of Adonai" (p. 128). The sun shines upon 
surfaces, but the moon illumines the inner being of creatures, 
even as mercy penetrates to man's true motives. Thus while 
Rodrigo and Prouheze are forbidden to marry by the sun of 
God's just law, nonetheless, they are spiritually wedded in 
the moonlight of God's mercy. As the Moon says: 

There is no question of her body! But this sacred throbbing by 
which the commingling souls know each other without go-between 
— that is what I serve to manifest (p. 129). 

The basis in physical reality of this symbolism is clear. The 
sun and stars revolve in the sky as independent entities. The 
moon revolves around the earth — serves the earth. Likewise, 
justice, law, reason have an independent splendor, whereas 
mercy is revealed only when it serves a creature needing 

The first in the next set of symbols — things on the earth — 
is the wind. It is implicitly and explicitly referred to as the 
will of God: "The will of God will blow upon us" (p. 105) ; 


"There is another wind, I mean the Spirit, which is sweep- 
ing the nations!' (p. vi) . The sea refers to God as the Alpha 
and Omega of all creation, and to the spirits of lovers who 
are separated in the flesh. Its reference to God is pointed in 
various places: for example, "The sea comes first and the 
land is in it . . . the infinite water on every side" (267), and 
"everything hangs together at sea" (269). The sea is the 
source of music and beauty, of harmony and creativity 
(Fourth Day). It relates to the separated spirits of lovers 
most explicitly in Prouheze's mental conversation with 
Rodrigo across the ocean (p. 166). Here she speaks of their 
souls as "the two seas which seek to mingle their waters" 
(p. 166). Through her penance she wants to be "the drop of 
water uniting the seas!' 

Another symbol which refers to separated lovers is the 
Shadow. When, for example, Prouheze and Rodrigo are truly 
united in will with God, Claudel depicts their love in the 
Double Shadow scene. The Shadow on the wall speaks: 

I charge this man and this woman with leaving me masterless 
. . . whose shadow can they say I am? Not of this man or of 

this woman singly, 
But of both of them. (p. 126) 

Moreover, the monks, one in spirit, are only physically sep- 
arate, and therefore their shadows are united (267). 

Wind, sea, and shadow, therefore, refer either to God as 
sources of freedom or to spirits imprisoned only by physical 
obstacles — not by their own recalcitrant wills. Moreover, the 
sun, moon, and stars refer either to God as source of freedom 
or to man as free. There remain two last symbols: the walls 
and the lands of earth. These show man imprisoned not only 
by physical obstacles (space, time, mass) but also and pri- 
marily by rebellious will. This rebellion, or disorder, is shown 
in human respect, pride, selfishness, despair. 

All the things of earth and wide universe, therefore, refer 
symbolically to God, source and end of freedom, or to prisons 


which keep men from God. The seeming prisons of space, 
time, law, matter, are not prisons when used rightly. Every 
creature limit, joyfully accepted and reasonably used, is 
paradoxically not a prison but a means to freedom. 

For all these reasons, the prison is the central and unifying 
symbol in the Satin Slipper and all of the chief aspects of the 
play refer to some kind of ransoming of prisoners. The wills 
of all the persons in the drama are the crooked lines with 
which God writes straight. The double paradox of the drama 
is reiterated throughout: namely, that matter, reasonably 
used, leads to God; and that only total imprisonment of men 
in the will of God can bring true freedom. Moreover, the play 
states that the purpose of Providence is to bring "deliverance 
to souls in prison!' The prison symbol is then "that vital 
puncturn which centres everything!' 


Reprinted from Renascence, Summer, 1955 


To God 
I gave my life 
A gift so small, so crude 
So little a thing it was to give, 
But His. 

The waves 

Grow high until 

They crash on sand. The sea 

In torment shows the angry face 

Of man. 

On wings 

The bird will fly 

So far that speed and might 

Are hard to catch. So free it flies 

To God. 




July is a month for dreaming, not study. The aura of the 
heat haze and the hum of insect life spell-bind Angela into 
a world transcending the summer activity of the University. 
The new world, damp and pungent with the smell of just- 
sprinkled grass, lies still in the motionless air of midsummer. 
Even the noises of cars on a nearby boulevard are muffled 
by the heat. She wishes to sit on the lawn, to come close to 
the earth, but a nagging feminine fear of ruining her starched 
blue cotton skirt leads her to a white bench under a euca- 
lyptus tree. She is vaguely conscious of forming an attractive 
picture as she opens the text of her English literature class 
and skips over the essays of Thomas Carlyle, her assignment, 
to the sonnets of Dante Rossetti. Then, as she sits in repose, 
a voice above her says, "My dear, you have the soul of a poet!' 

Angela is not startled. Her "Oh — " is matter-of-fact. 

A man's voice continues. "Only a poet would place a lovely 
princess in blue on a white bench beneath a eucalyptus tree" 
then, taking her book, he exclaims with delight, "and reading 
Rossetti, too! What a wonderful line this is: 'Your hands lie 
open in the long fresh grass — ' and further down, 'Tis visible 
silence, still as the hour-glass! He too felt the summer spell!' 
He smiles and she sees that his eyes do not smile. 

"Who are you?" she asks gently. 

"My name is Matthew Grossman — !' She remembers him 
now. "Mr. Grossman" who sits several rows behind her in 
sociology class, who daily challenges the instructor with his 
unorthodox ideas on human society. How often she had 
wanted to turn around and stare at him, to watch the face 
that must match the intensity of the foreign voice. And here 
he is, tall and very dark from the sun, with eyes that do not 
smile and lips that caress every word they speak. 

"You recognize me now" he says, still smiling. "Of course, 
you want to know where I am from; my accent is non-com- 


mittal. That is because I belong to no country. I speak French 
and German, English and Italian. I am a Hebrew who has 
lost touch with sacrifice, a Jew who has suffered persecution 
without faith!' There is no bitterness in his voice, only a 
note of necessary introduction. "You are Angela, which 
means 'angel'; you work in a small bookstore and attend 
summer school; and you have the soul of a poet!' He sits 
beside her, and she smiles a welcome. 

"You talk a great deal" she says, "but I like it. I like to hear 
your ideas, although I disagree with you constantly!' 

He laughs. "Oh, you mean my theory on the causes of 
criminal behavior! Well, not too many agree with that any- 
way, but few challenge me. You are honest, I knew you 
would be. There is nothing so challenging as an intelligent, 
lovely woman who disagrees with you!' He leans toward her 
and touches the medal at her throat. "The suffering face of 
your Christ. So you are Catholic?" 


"This explains why you are such a woman. Catholicism, 
if it does nothing else, produces real women!' He laughs 
again and his eyes are very blue. 


The books when they are opened smell like an old basement, 
and it is so tiring to climb to the high shelves for Parasitology 
or other unknown and uninteresting volumes. If she could 
only sit and read through the poetry or look at the old prints 
of Michelangelo and Da Vinci. But instead it's always, 
"Alphabetize this file" or "Run and find me that September 
issue of Ladies' Home Journal" and sometimes, "Take care 
of that customer!' 

So Angela dreams. 

Matthew reminds me of a Greek athlete, but an athlete 
who can think like his philosophical grandfather. He can be 
so exasperating with his vehement ideas, but I can under- 
stand why he has them. After all, it's not easy to come 


through his experience without learning vehemence. I won- 
der if he really saw the Germans take his mother and sister 
to be burned in the furnaces. He only mentioned it that once, 
and then so briefly, and with such pain. I never thought I'd 
meet anyone who has suffered as he has. 

And then she dreams in pictures — an intelligent Apollo — 
no a Mercury, swift, graceful and masculine. 

He would come late at night; he'd bring a volume of 
Rossetti and choose the sonnets very deliberately; each line 
would have a special meaning for them. Then they would 
go down to the ocean. And they would laugh and run down 
the beach holding hands, and as they came breathless to the 
cliff, he would kiss her. 

A touch on her arm startles her from her dream. 

"Why, Matthew" she says, "how did you find your way 
back here?" 

"I only followed the radiance and I found you!' His hand 
is still on her arm, keeping the excitement of her dream in 
her eyes. "And what are you doing, little angel?" 

"Oh, just putting away some books. Nothing interesting!' 

"Let me see. This looks quite interesting!' He reaches for 
one of the volumes in the box. "Freud's book on dream inter- 
pretation! And you call this uninteresting! Well — must be 
the influence of your suffering Christ!' 

She feels a vague resentment, but dismisses it with the 
thought, "Oh, how can you expect a Jew to understand 
Christ's suffering — after all . . !' 

He is thumbing through the book. "Tell me, do you have 
any recurring dreams? Let me psychoanalyze you, my little 
angel ... or do angels dream?" 

Angela blushes, but says nothing. Something about Mat- 
thew does not demand an answer, just attention. 

"I imagine you dream lovely, whimsical fantasies. If you 
don't in your sleeping hours, you must in your waking hours. 
You are a poet, Angela. Yesterday in class I watched you 
rebel when I made that statement about Christianity's effect 


on Western civilization — remember, I said it had only soft- 
ened and disguised the Anglo-Saxons from their potential- 
ities, that without Christianity, the West would now be the 
complete master of the world. I could see you stiffen from 
my place four rows back, and even the color of your lovely 
neck changed'.' He laughs, "I only said it to see you react — 
I love to see you react!' 

"But what has sociology to do with poetry?" 

Again the laugh. "It is the poet who has the greatest desire 
for truth and who is most easily offended when his idea of 
truth is shaken. The poet is sensitive to the unity of truth 
and resents any flaw in it. You are offended, not because I 
deny your faith; but because you desire beauty, and truth 
with a flaw is not beautiful!' 

"Truth with a flaw is not truth. Oh, I know what you're 
trying to say. Actually, you're accusing me of being a coward, 
because you think I can't face life without the security of a 
flawless set of beliefs. If only you knew how wrong you are, 
how many mysteries there are, how many mysteries I 
recognize and accept!' 

"Ah! You always have an answer. But then, that is why I 
like Catholics better than other Christians. They always have 
a mystery and what is life but a mystery?" Again the laugh, 
this time sardonic. 

"I suppose you have a theory about how all this fits in 
with my having the soul of a poet . . '.' 

"Of course. Again I say, you have the soul of a poet because 
you do see the mystery of life, because you are sensitive to 
it. This is the truth of which I spoke — that life is a mystery!' 

"Oh Matthew, you don't know at all what I mean . . !' 


As she wanders up the walk that night after work, she sees 
a figure sitting on the steps, sees a glow which can only be 
Matthew's pipe. 


"How did you know where I live?" 

"A man in love finds out such things without much 

She stops breathing a second. Then she whispers, "A man 
in love . . V 

Matthew stands and puts his arm around her shoulders. 
"Yes, I am a man in love. I am in love with you, my pure 
little angel!' His hand turns her face to his and he looks at 
her for a long time. The look is more intimate than a kiss. 

She holds him to her and weeps — "Oh, Matthew. . . !' 


Angela sits in the sociology classroom waiting for Matthew 
to come. She thinks of their last meeting. She had begged 
him to take her to the ocean; the day was so hot and the 
thought of the water so inviting. . . . 

"Oh, Matthew, come on, let's go down to the beach! It's 
really not far on the bus. I can't wait to plunge into the ocean 
and dive into the breakers!" 

Matthew had stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and 
said, "Why, Angela, who would have thought you could love 
the ocean so! You always seem so reserved. I am amazed that 
you should desire the sea so intensely!' 

"It's like the wild part of me that hates to be restrained, 
that detests convention" she said with a lilt in her voice. 

"So, you have violence in your soul, my love!' His voice was 
half-tender and half-musing, and his face was questioning. 
"But then, I should have realized this! The lines of your face 
may show repose, but your eyes reflect excitement!" She 
remembers now how he had taken her hand and held it very 

"Hello, Matthew" she smiles. 

He sits next to her and shows her a folder. "See! It's fin- 
ished. I will read it to the class today!' 

"I didn't know you were working on it, Matthew. And it's 


not due for another week. Why did you finish it so soon?" 

"I want to get the class reaction. I may have to change 
some parts if it is too startling. I'm anxious for you to hear it 
too, my dear!' 

Class begins. Matthew goes to the front of the class. "Thank 
you, Professor, for giving me this time" and turning to the 
class he reads his paper titled, "Christianity: The Death of 
Western Civilization!' 

After class Matthew and Angela walk in silence to the 
white bench beneath the eucalyptus tree. As they sit down, 
Matthew says, "Of course, you don't like it, my love. I 
couldn't expect you to. These ideas are big ones for you to 
cope with after studying in a Catholic college. You saw how 
easily the class accepted what I had to say. Certainly, many 
disagreed with my premise, but nearly all of them accepted 
my reasons, which is more important. Sooner or later you will 
agree that dogma chains the intellect from any growth!' 

Angela is still silent. Her hands are folded in her lap. She 
becomes newly aware of the summer smell and the summer 
sounds, of the spell of midsummer, of the hypnosis of the 
deep voice and the blue eyes. And somehow she can say only, 
"Oh Matthew, why talk about it? We have discussed this so 
much. You have told me you respect Catholicism, and now 
you turn and slap it in the face. And you've slapped me too, 
but what can I say?" 

Matthew unfolds her hands gently and holds them in his 
own. Then he stands and helps her up. "Shall we have 

After work that night Angela waits in front of the bookstore 
for Matthew to come and take her home. He had said he 
would bring some new poetry for them to read together. She 
hopes it will be Rossetti, because his poetry somehow sym- 
bolizes their love. Rossetti himself reminds her of Matthew, 
paradoxically sensuous and chaste, restrained and violent. 


She feels the need of love poetry to lull her back into her 
acceptance of Matthew's non-Catholicism, of his loss of his 
own religion, and of his strange political ideas. She thinks of 
his eyes and his body. She smiles, remembering how he had 
today compared her to Diana the Huntress, saying that only 
a goddess who loved nature and imitated its whimsicality 
and seductive violence could do justice to her kind of beauty. 
And when Matthew walks up and takes her arm, she smiles 
easily and says, "Oh, I thought you never would come!" 
She sees the volume under his arms and exclaims, "You 

"Yes, my dear, something new tonight. I know you will 
like it. Here, let me read to you while we wait for the bus!' 
They sit on the bench under the streetlight, and Matthew 
takes his pipe, knocks out the tobacco, and puts the pipe in 
his pocket. Sitting very close to her, he opens the volume and 

"Not I, not I, but the wind that blows through me! 

A fine wind is blowing the new direction of Time. 

If only I let it bear me, carry me, if only it carry me! 

If only I am sensitive, subtle, oh, delicate, a winged gift! 

If only, most lovely of all, I yield myself and am borrowed 

By the fine, fine wind that takes its course through the 
chaos of the world 

Like a fine, an exquisite chisel, a wedge-blade inserted!' 

"Wait, Matthew—" she cries, putting her hand on his arm. 
"What does he mean?" She is angry at something, but does 
not know what, and resentful that Matthew would talk over 
her head. "Who is the poet?" 

Matthew laughs, starts to speak, then, still chuckling, 
closes the book, takes her hand, saying, "D. IT. Lawrence, my 
angel, and you wouldn't understand what he speaks of. I 
didn't realize myself till now what he means!' Suddenly he 
stands up and says, "Why don't we walk down to the ocean. 
We haven't been there together yet, and it's not late!' 


Angela forgets the poem and laughs delightedly. They 
walk toward the path which leads to the ocean. 

As their feet touch the sand, Angela twirls and cries out, 
"Oh how I love it! Come on, Matthew, take off your shoes, 
and I'll race you to the cliffs!" As she slips out of her sandals, 
she begins to run, leaping and racing to the cliffs. Her skirts 
fly around her legs and she gathers them up. She arrives 
breathless at the foot of the cliffs and she turns, expecting to 
see Matthew close behind her. But he is far behind, walking 
slowly, pausing often to look at the sea. Angela is disappointed 
that he has not accepted her challenge, but laughs at herself, 
"I forget he's already twenty-seven!' She stands and faces out 
to sea, and soon its sound and movement lull her thoughts. 
The sea reverie is broken by hands on her shoulder, hands 
that wait a moment for a sign of yielding, that turn her 
around roughly, and a mouth that finds hers boldly, a kiss 
that is more than an end in itself. Angela is stunned for a 
moment, and Matthew mistakes her passivity for surrender; 
his hands are no longer still. Angela moves quickly and 
instinctively, shoving him away and finding his strength 
more than her own, cries, "Stop it, Matthew, stop it!" 

He lets her go, recognizing in her voice a genuine com- 
mand. She tries to turn from him, but he stops her, and his 
hands tightly grip her arms. He turns her to him and exults, 
"You are a devil, my angel!" as if her refusals had been 
coquetry, and tries to pull her to him again. She strains in 
his arms and stares into his face. She speaks calmly. "I under- 
stand you now, Matthew. I guess you think I have led you on 
by continuing to see you, even though I should have known 
that it could only lead to this. Now let me go. I hope you real- 
ize that I understand fully what you think of me!' She walks 
swiftly, and when she reaches her sandals, turns, and sees 
Matthew following close behind her. Feeling something she 
calls compassion, she decides to wait, and sits in the sand with 
her skirt spread around her. 

Matthew seats himself beside her. "We might as well be 


civilized about this" he says. "I can explain what happened. 
I am not a man to merely admire a woman's beauty. Because 
I waited so long to taste your beauty, I have made you think 
I am a beast. But I must tell you that I would not be satisfied 
any longer to sit and admire only!' Angela knows that he is 
waiting for an answer. 

She is silent for a long time. Then, "I don't really know 
how to say this, but I suppose I can only say, it's impossible. 
You know my beliefs, and although I have somehow let you 
think I can be dissuaded, I do not intend to give in to you!' 

"And I have too much pride to compete with a dead God 
for a woman's affections. We might as well part now. You go 
to your little apartment and contemplate the suffering face 
of your Christ. I shall go home and contemplate the suffering 
face in my mirror!' He stands, helps her up, and they walk 
in silence to the bus stop. 


Today is the last day of summer school, and Angela has just 
finished her last class. She sits alone on the bench looking at 
her text to see if she answered the exam questions correctly. 
The spell of July has turned into a smothering August, and 
the heat is no longer magic, but torture. As she dries the per- 
spiration from her forehead with her handkerchief, she looks 
up and sees Matthew walk by. He glances at her and nods. 
She stares after him and fingers the medal at her throat. 


First Prize $250 — Cabrini Literary Guild Contest — 1954 
Merit Paper — Altantic Monthly Contest — 1955 



"The acrobats of Picasso epitomize the 
frailty of our age and the spiritual hope 
in something as yet unrealized!' 

Wallace Fowlie 

feet feel secure, know where they're due. 
the eye is the mischief, always 
turning, searching upward: 
would ruin the 

preserved by 
the toes; ignore 
the dust and gravity's pull. 
(eye travels faster to safety than limb.) 

rope walk is over a jealous lion, 
the trick is to keep the eye fixed: 
feet will provide for themselves. 


First Prize $30 — Redlands University Robert Browning Contest — 1955 



The buildings of knowledge stood unnoticed on either side of 
David as he walked to Chemistry. This walk from the Stu- 
dent Union to chem was the most impressive on campus. He 
usually took his time to button-hole a new freshman: "Do 
you realize this building is one of 23 which house 35,000 stu- 
dents in one of the largest universities in the United States?" 
He relished that startled — "Are you crazy? No, you're Dave 
Ensign!' — look. 

Nothing in the world more pleasant than that freshman 
hero-worship. Dave Ensign, big man on campus, president of 
Reps Board. No pride in admitting your own position. Best 
frat; and now, President! Casually, on campus, it would be 
Dave, Student Body President. After three years at the U., 
he could really represent it. 

"Hi, Dave'.' 

"Josie, how are you?" 

"The worst! Just had an econ test. It was bad. Hope I pull 
a 'C!" 

"Don't worry; you will. McGregor gives tough tests, but 
he's a softie for effort. Gave me a 'B' for goodwill!' 

"That's encouraging. How are you, Mr. Man of the Hour? 
Is it true the Taus are running you for the big deal?" 

"Wow, I've heard of ye old grapevine, but this beats all. 
This morning someone in the frat mentioned that I should 
consider running. So I'm considering. I don't even know yet!' 

"Personal clue, Dave. It's not the grapevine; it's the 
machine. I hope you're careful how you run!' 

"Josie, wait, what do you mean?" 

"Consult your psychiatrist, Dave. I'm late for class!' 

Dave stood looking after the swinging form of Josie; he 
started into the building, rubbing his hand over the inscrip- 
tion in the wall — "Knowledge is truth, and truth, good!' He 
went into the lecture hall disturbing only the last two rows 
and took his seat beside Tom Allarde, frat brother. They gave 


mumbled hellos and Dave turned to watch the professor's 

"Well, studious one, extensive notes, I see!' 

A paper of doodles belied Dave's attention during class. 
Squares, circles, and women's hats were mixed in with notes 
on infinite series, Taylor's formula, and the remainder after 
nine terms. 

"Huh? Oh, I guess I wasn't paying attention; I was 

"Oh, blow on society. What a mistake!" 

"Can it, Tom; I'm not in the mood!' 

"O.K. Thinking about the presidency by chance? Guess 
the Taus want you!' 

"You, too? Am I the last one around here to know what's 
going on? Josie came up before class. Not only did she kow- 
tow, but I got the straight voodoo about the 'machine! What's 
the pitch?" 

"I'm out of it, Dave. Let's go eat. One hour of calculus 
flakes me. Bet we're having dog food on toast again!' 

"Did I ever tell you what a cheerful chap you are, 
Schopenhauer, Jr.?" 

"Accept all honor with humility. Coming to the frat party 

"Maybe. Peg's got a term paper due. We might work on it 

"Touching, Prince Valiant. Lost in the seclusion of poli 
sci, the two lovers work side by side, oblivious to all, only the 
tip-tap of keys breaking the scholarly silence!' 

"Tom, one question. Who brought the booze to the House?" 

"Slim and I!' 

"Sip it?" 

"One shot!' 


Candle wax, smoke, and perfume gave the room a stale 
taste even before the party had progressed very far. The 


liquor completed the stagnation, giving the room more of a 
New Orleans atmosphere than the intended Italian. By ten 
o'clock, you had to inhale to fit on the dance floor. Then Dave 
and Peg walked in. Dave had to bend to fit under the decora- 
tions so that the first anyone saw of him was a bristley-blond 
crew cut. His head eased up and his expressive blue eyes 
explored the room. He turned, and helped Peg in. 

Tom, much tighter than earlier, raised his glass and sput- 
tered to the silent group, "Hail to the Chief!' 

The silence burst as the boys crowded around Dave. 

"What's the scoop? Gonna run?" 

"Hey, I heard you were declining'.' 

"Dave, gonna let the Taus sponsor you?" 

"First time Taus ever had a president!' 

"Be great publicity. Fill the scrapbook fast!' 

"C'mon you guys. Cut it out. It's a long way to elections. 
I'm not sure I'll run and Peggy wants to dance; don't you, 
hon?" ■ 

Dave took Peggy's hand and worked his way to the dance 
floor answering questions as he went. "When We Come of 
Age" started a slow movement of dancing couples. Dave slid 
his arm loosely around Peg and they fell into the easy 

"They're all excited about the election, aren't they? Im- 
pressed, Davey?" 

"Who, me?" 

Peg dropped her hand to his lapel as she answered, "Yes, 
you. You beamed all over when Dick asked you to run!' 

"Sure, I'm impressed, Hon. Who wouldn't be with a frat 
asking you to run for student body president!' 

"Oh, oh, here come Janie and Bill. Do you want to bet he 
rushes over, slaps your back, and grins, 'How are you and 
the little woman?'" 

"Bill's really a card. He fractures me with those jokes of 

"Well, don't look now; you're about to be fractured!' 


The thumping whack startled nearby dancers as Bill 
boomed into Dave's ear, "How are you and the little woman 
tonight?" Dave winced, as much from Peg's laughing wink 
as from the blow. 

"Fine, finished up a term paper earlier and we're really 


"Good, bet your little bid for the big office helped, huh? 
Think it's real cool. You'll be the most as president. That's if 
you run. Don'tcha think he'd be good, Janie?" 

"Sure do, Bill!' 

"Janie was just saying how great you'd be as president; 
weren't you, Janie?" 

"Yes, I just was'.' 

"Say, Dave, are you busy right now? I thought I might 
talk to you'.' 

"As a matter of fact, I am. We have to leave early and I 
wanted to spend the evening with Peg!' 

"Just take a minute. Besides, Janie came over to see if Peg 
wanted to go to the powder room with her. Right, Janie?" 

"Could you come, Peg?" 

Peg looked at Dave. She found the answer in his eyes and 
answered, "Of course, I'll go; be right back, Dave'.' 

Dave turned to Bill as the two girls walked off. "Well?" 

"C'mon into the other room; it's too noisy here!' 

"O.K., but I don't quite understand this huddle!' 

The boys walked to the porch and Bill continued. "I want 
to level with you, Dave. I think you can win the presidency. 
You've got the experience, the personality, the ability and all 
you need is support!' 

"This is quite a pitch from 'laughing boy! I've never seen 
you so serious. I'm waiting for the pitcher of water, or is 
someone ready to shove me into the pool?" 

Bill's eyes narrowed as he answered, "This is serious, Dave. 
You're going to be running for president within a week. 
You're the man for the job. This means you have to have the 
right backing and I can give it!' 


"Slow down; you left me out in right field. First of all, if 
I run, it will naturally be on the Tau ticket; isn't that back- 
ing enough? Second of all, it's a big deal, but you're being too 

"It's up to you, Dave. Taus will back you; but have you 
ever noticed that Taus have never had a president? Or didn't 
it occur to you anywhere along your career at the U. that 
there was someone stronger than fraternities backing exec 
board candidates?" 

Dave stared over the railing. The fog obscured his vision 
so that it was only darkness that he watched. He suddenly 
turned to Bill. 

"Now I'll level with you. Ever since someone first men- 
tioned it, I've liked the idea. Sure, I want to be president; but 
I thought that my own personality was going to be my sup- 
port and that I'd win or lose on that basis. I'm not completely 
naive; I know you need to belong to a fraternity and know 
some of the right people to get nominated. With Taus run- 
ning me and a good platform, I stand a chance. So there I 
am; pick it apart!' 

"Boy, you is more naive than you ever thunk. I wouldn't 
have believed that you could have gone through all these 
years in our fair community without realizing what was go- 
ing on. Have you ever heard of the Triads?" 

"Name's familiar. Is it a campus organization?" 

Bill leaned over close to Dave and spurted into his ear. 
"Listen, boy, and I kid you not. The Triads control all elec- 
tions for exec board on this campus. If you want to win, 
Davey, you'd better start thinking straight. See me tomorrow 
at ten-twenty, if you're interested!' 

"Am I hearing right? Control an election? Sounds like 
Tammany Hall or the Pendergast machine. Machine? So 
that's what Josie meant. Now it's projecting!' 

"Don't project any more; here come the girls!' Bill's face 
reverted to his original smile, "Hiya, girls" he beamed. 
"Wanna hear a hysterical joke? Why'd the moron fill the 


gym with water? Cause he heard the coach was making him 
a sub. Dig it, Peggy?" 

Peggy forced laughter into her voice. "Dig it the most, Bill. 
Have you two finished your business? The evening is fleeing!' 

"We're finished till tomorrow, huh, Dave? See you at ten- 
twenty. Been ripping, right, Janie?" 

"Yes, it's been fun seeing you again!' 

When the couple on the other side of the room put on a 
mambo record, Dave motioned Peg to a table and went for a 
drink. He set the glasses on the checkered cloth and an- 
nounced, "Bill was talking about the election. He said I didn't 
have enough support to win without his help. Sounds pretty 
fishy to me!' 

"So, that's what he wanted. I tried to find out from Janie, 
but Bill never tells her what he's doing. What does he mean?" 

"I wish I knew. He claims some group controls elections, 
that he can get them to back me. Wouldn't tell me any more 
until tomorrow!' 

"All that from Bill? I didn't think he ever had a sensible 

"That's what I thought too. But believe me, he was dead 

"What are you going to do?" 

"Right now, dance with you. Tomorrow, I'm not sure!' 

Dave came out of physics lab on his way to the "caf" when 
he saw Bill Sanders coming toward him. You couldn't mis- 
take Bill — his shoulders jutting out over his body like yokes, 
and his practical- joker grin visible for miles. Dave started 
toward him. 

"Hi, Davey, ole boy. How's physics lab, today? Split any 

"On today, aren't you, Bill?" 

"I'm always on. Just see the funny things in life, that's all. 
How's about our appointment? Want to go down to the 
Square for coffee?" 


"O.K., Bill. I have class at 11:45; can't stay too long. Want 
to know what all this is about, though!' 

"Supposin' I talk as we slush down. I'll take up where I 
left off. There's an unofficial org on campus, the Triads, who 
form a political party. They figure it's a good idea to have a 
group interested in politics around here since most of the kids 
vote for looks or personality or their best friend's choice!' 

"You're exaggerating. Most of the kids I know vote con- 

"Listen! 35,000 undergrads enrolled. No more than 60% 
of them vote. That's about 21,000. Say three guys run for 
president. Even if each of them know different people, to- 
gether they couldn't have even speaking acquaintance with 
more than 2100 of them. That's only 10% of the total vote. 
What do the other 90% base their vote on?" 

"You're surely convincing. I never thought of it that way 

"Exactly. Very few people do. Take your office. Only one 
section of the school voted you in as rep— the juniors. Then 
the twelve reps on the board gave you the chairmanship. The 
people who voted for you, know you; there was no need for 
control. Now you're thinking about the big race. The Triads 
want to preserve the tradition of the U. in getting the best 
man. We do it as a business, and avoid the guess work in the 
regular elections!' 

Dave watched the worms on the sidewalk, stranded by the 
morning rain. They wriggled in vain efforts to return to 
their earthen safety. 

"Well, Dave, what now?" 

"Huh? Oh, I don't know, Bill. Sounds like a good idea, but 
how do you do it? Why did you pick me? What about the 

"Look, Dave, you decide to run; we'll take care of the de- 
tails. All you have to concentrate on, once we get you in, is 
being a good president. As far as the dean goes, we've never 
had any trouble. How about it?" 


"I can't promise you anything until I know more about 
it, Bill. Last night I decided to run, but I'm running for Taus 
unless you can give me better reasons for switching sponsors!' 

Bill's eyes opened wide as he beamed, "Greetings, Cat; 
what brings you to the lower level of society?" 

Dave looked up and saw a sandy-haired boy of medium 
build walking lazily toward them. "Hi, Dick, did I tell you 
the rubber crop in southeast Indonesia dropped by 75% this 
year? They say it's because the sun came between Venus and 
Mars and left a shadow on Capricorn!' 

"Gee, thanks for the tip. I was just about to sink my last 
million on rubber. Now I'll go into dried oranges. Great for 
people who don't like juice in the morning; non-squirt, too. 
Just came over to ask you if you'd registered yet for the 

"Not yet, Dick!' 

"Taus sponsoring you?" 

"Who else, Little One? Think Davey's gonna let anyone 
else run the big campaign?" Bill blasted. 

"I want you to know I'm with you. If I can help, just let 
me know. Gotta get on to class. By, Bill, Dave!' 

"Bill, I thought you wanted me to run for the Triads!' 

"I do!' 

"Then why the big Tau bit with Dick?" 

"Oh, that. You'll be officially running for Taus. No one 
will know the Triads are backing you except us. Works better 
that way!' 

"What do the Triads want from me?" 

"What'd you mean?" 

"I got to thinking while Dick was here; you didn't just all 
of a sudden pick me. There must be some method in your 
madness. What do the Triads want from me as president?" 

"What I've been telling you all along; good government, a 
strong exec board, one picked for ability and not for 

"Things don't add up!' 


"Now what do you mean?" 

"Let's review. You ask me to run for president on the Triad 
ballot; only the Triads can get me in. The methods are fool- 
proof, yet you won't tell me what they are. I've never heard 
of them and you claim they run all elections. Strangest of 
all, you want nothing in return and no mention of Triads!' 

"C'mon, let's go in and talk over the drinks!' 

Bill and Dave walked into a store overflowing with the col- 
lege crowd, but they found a vacant table in the corner. 

"All the Triads want is justice, Dave. If we get you elected, 
we know you'll respect our suggestions. As president, you're 
responsible for appointments and have pull with both the 
administration and the exec board. We elect you; you listen 
to us; it's as simple as that!' 

"Who are the Triads?" 

"I told you before. We're just a group interested in preserv- 
ing good government on this campus. It would defeat our 
purpose if people knew who we were. This means that even 
if you run on Triad support, your name will still have Taus 
beside it!' 

"Do you have a cigarette?" 

"Sure!' Bill leaned over the booth and gave Dave a ciga- 
rette. He called a waitress. "Two coffee, please!' 

Dave pulled an ashtray over. "Bill, one more question. 
How can you guarantee that I'll win?" 

"I told you we'd take care of the details!' 

"I have to know how you'll do it before I'll run for the 

"O.K. We're composed of people with know-how. There's 
a word of mouth campaign by students, more effective be- 
cause no one knows we're tied up with you. It only takes one 
strong talker in every frat. Our boys are on this year's exec 
board and control all the balloting. I promise you can win 
with us; but if you decide not to hitch up, you're through on 
this campus!' 

"That's pretty strong stuff you're dishing out. If you're so 


hot on my being the best man, why would you switch to 
someone else because I wouldn't play ball?" 

"The best man in office is the one who does the most good. 
We've made a study of the most good, and it includes some- 
one who'll listen to our suggestions. We want a good campus!' 

"I don't know; it sounds like a good deal. I'm not running 
to lose. Can I tell you tomorrow?" 

"Sure. I'll see you before breakfast. We'll get you a cam- 
paign manager, so your only worry will be making yourself 
a good president!' 

Dave took the cup from the waitress, measured sugar onto 
his spoon and stirred the coffee. "Bill, I have to know how!' 

"I told you. There are wheels in every campus group who'll 
plug you. We have people at the stalls ready to give the voters 
the word!' 

"And that's all?" 

"Just about!' 

"You're so positive we'll win; it's hard to believe you're 
basing it on this word of mouth deal!' 

"O.K., Sam Spade. You asked for it. I mentioned earlier 
that only 60% of the school votes. We take advantage of the 
40% who don't!' 

"So it is fishy!' 

"Come off it, Dave. Sometimes you have to use fishy stuff 
to get what's best. We're smart enough to take advantage of 
another's stupidity. Tell me what's wrong with that? Does 
it matter how you get to be president as long as you're a good 
one? Supposing you should lose? Supposing the 'public' elects 
someone else? What have you proved? That you're a good 
egg and an honest Joe, even if the government goes to pot!' 

"We'll still keep it till tomorrow!' 

"Great. Remember, we're doing this for the school. It's our 
way of insuring a worthwhile student government. It's 

"I guess you're right, Bill. Hard to take all in one dose. 
Like I've been under a rock all my life!' 


"You have. Let's go; you'll be late for class!' 

"Holy smoke! I didn't realize how late it was!' 

"Go on, Dave. I'll take care of the bill!' 


He pushed open the door and rushed into the numbing air. 

Dave looked across the room at Peg bundled in a chair. 

"Sounds like a T.V. spectacular" she said. "Have you 
thought of calling yourself, 'The HunterJ or anything more 
original than just plain Dave?" 

He tried to find her eyes to see if she was teasing, but Peg 
was looking at a picture of last year's prom. 

"I thought maybe Rajah of the East Coast would do; like 

"Suits your personality and blond hair beautifully. Just 
think I can be Madame Rajah!' 

"It does sound schmaltzy sitting here talking it over with 
you, Peg. Seemed like big business while Bill was talking. 
What do you think?" 

"What do you want me to think?" 

He pushed his long legs across the carpet and slumped in 
the chair. "What do you mean, Hon?" 

"You know what I mean. You've decided and all you want 
is agreement!' 

"You're wrong. I can't decide!' 

"It's a phony setup all the way; we both know that. It's a 
matter of whether you're running to win or just to run!' 

"Check. I can't win unless I go along with them. I don't 
like the principle, but I've been thinking that if I don't 'play 
ball' I'll be out in right field all alone!' 

"So you're going to be Mr. Rajah and run for the Triads?" 

"I'm not sure. I know I won't be able to do anyone any 
good if I lose, and I might be able to do some good as 

"I don't know if it helps, but I'll be out in right field with 
you if you lose; you won't be all alone!' 


"I don't know what to do, Peg. What do you think?" 
"Here's where I came in. I think of my father, Dave, and 
the best advice he ever gave me, 'It's better to fail and know 
you should have succeeded than to succeed and realize you 
should have failed! Sounds a little corny, I know; but this 
whole business is corny!' 

"I agree; that's what I've always thought!' 
"But now it's different!' 

"No, Honey, but here's the situation. If I win, no matter 
how, I'm the same person. I can do as much as president 
either way. Nobody would be hurt. I'd have the office; the 
school would be just as well off as if someone else won; prob- 
ably better since I'd be using the Triads as they're trying to 
use me; the Triads'd be happy because they engineered an- 
other president even if I don't follow their 'party line' after 
I'm in. Taus'll be happy because they've got a president, and 
no one on campus knows the difference!' 
"And the world's one big rosy place!' 
"I don't see how we could lose!' 
"Except that we would know we should have!' 
"That's not true, Peg. I deserve the presidency!' 
"I don't think anyone in the school deserves it more; you'd 
be a wonderful president. But I want you to be proud of your 
election, to feel that the school wanted you. Don't you see, 

"Does it really matter if I pull a few strings?" 

"Dear, it doesn't matter to me what you do. You asked me 

what I thought; I told you. You had your mind made up when 

you came in. Now you're trying to convince yourself, not me!' 

"That isn't so. I'm not trying to convince anyone. I'm 

trying to decide!' 

"Are you sure you'll lose if you don't run under the Triads? 
If you won alone, you'd really have a victory; and if you lost, 
at least you'd have the satisfaction of knowing you should 
have won!' 


"Not a chance of winning. With the ballots controlled, no 
one could beat them!' 

"Discouraging for any up and coming politician on this 

"Sure is!' 

"I wonder if your opponents know about his conspiracy? 
They have courage running if they do!' 

"They probably don't. Probably wouldn't run if they did. 
Too hopeless!' Dave tapped a cigarette on the arm of his chair. 

"It seems undemocratic when you say hopeless. Why vote 
if it won't count?" 

"Don't you see that's why I want to win. Only the Triads' 
candidate can; if someone else takes my place, he's likely to 
be their tool. If I win, I might be able to change things!' 

"Mostly yourself!' 


"Nothing, Dave. I noticed how late it is. Mrs. Graves will 
be here in two minutes. 10:00 on school nights, you know!' 

"Sorry, Hon, I wasn't watching the time. You're not peeved 
are you? I mean about the election?" 

"Of course not. I told you: I've nothing to do with you 
politically. I'm not your wife yet; wait till then and I'll really 
start running your life!' 

"You do and I'll beat you!' 

"You'll have to catch me first!' 

"I'll just call and you'll float into my arms!' 

"Is that a threat or a promise?" 

"Right now, a promise!' 

"Here she comes and away you go!' 

"Just when I was about to catch you. I'm telling them 
tomorrow morning, Peg!' 


"I think it's the only sensible way!' 

Dave closed the door before the watchful glance of Mrs. 


As Dave's feet hit the cold floor the next morning, he heard 
Bill barge in. 

"Bon jour, Monsieur. You're looking tres gai. I can tell you 
have the joyful news for me — that happy now-I've-decided- 
good-luck's-ahead gleam reveals all to Swami'.' 

"You're right, Bill. I've made up my mind!' 

"Bon. Sign on the dotted line. I took the liberty of getting 
a form for you, knowing what you'd say!' 

"I'm not signing, Bill. Tom Allarde took out my form; I'm 
running for Taus and myself and the school!' 

"You're crazy! You're sure you mean what I think I 

"You heard right, Bill. I appreciate all the trouble you 
went to, but I'm sure you won't have any difficulty finding 
another candidate!' 

"You're darn right we won't. And he'll beat you. You don't 
stand a chance now, Mr. Righteous!' 

"But at least I'll know I should have won!' 


"Nothing, Bill. I have to go to class. Goodby; thanks again!' 


Second Prize — Southern California Woman's Press Contest — 1955 


On gold 

And purple velvet 

One quivering jewel tarries, 

One tear of winter, holding in thraldom 

The sun. 

bruna bernascon: 



Notes on Wallace Stevens' "Peter Quince at the Clavier" in 
terms of the tension felt in the poem between art and nature 
appeared in an article by Fred H. Stocking in The Explicator, 
May, 1947, v. 47. The art which the poem uses to make con- 
crete the "art" side of the dichotomy is, of course, music. 
Music plays a double role in the composition of the poem. 
First, it furnishes the material to carry the conceptual mean- 
ing; music and things associated with it are the chief sources 
of the imagery. Secondly, although all poetry is musical to 
some degree, "Peter Quince . . !' brings the attention of the 
reader to the meter and rhyme by constant and subtle varia- 
tions, always motivated by some change in the characters or 
twist in the plot of the story. 

The meaning of the poem may best be discovered by an 
examination of the close relation between structure of mean- 
ing and structure of sound. Both of these structures are close- 
ly affiliated with music. The first uses music as the material 
out of which it makes figures of speech. To the second struc- 
ture it is the formal principle, itself. The form of the poem 
closely follows that of a musical composition. Because music 
dominates both structures, meaning and sound reinforce one 
another and the poem emerges a coherent, carefully formed 
work of art. 

The musical form can be seen most clearly by an exami- 
nation of the pattern of the stanzas. The poem opens with 
the statement of theme. The second part is a melodious ampli- 
fication of one aspect of it. Part III is andante, to borrow a 
musical term, and bears some relation to Part II. The final 
movement is a recapitulation of the theme in a way parallel 
to the presentation, yet varied. 

The poem's theme is first stated in terms of the voice's 
experience: "Just as my fingers on these keys Make music, 

Reprinted with permission from The Explicator, November 1955. Miss Storm has 
also received honors from Atlantic Monthly, and Cabrini Literary Guild. 


so the selfsame sounds On my spirit make a music, too!' A 
generalization of the theme follows: "Music is feeling then, 
not sound!' And lastly a historical example of the theme is 
given in the Biblical account of Susanna and the elders. 

Stating explicitly that music is feeling, the voice proceeds 
in the story of Susanna, to describe the feelings of characters 
in terms of music. 

The feeling of the voice is "like the strain Waked in the 
elders by Susanna!' The emotion of the "red-eyed elders" is 
described in musical terms: they "felt The basses of their 
beings throb In witching chords, and their thin blood Pulse 
pizzicati of Hosanna!' 

The structure of the verse in Part I parallels the meaning. 
It is describing feelings which are the same — those of the 
voice and the elders — and therefore has the same general 
metrical structure throughout. 

Part II, describing Susanna, whose feelings are much dif- 
ferent, has an entirely different stanzaic pattern although 
the setting is the same. The elders are in "a green evening, 
clear and warm" and Susanna lies "In the green water, clear 
and warm!' Stevens is not using setting as the Romantics did 
to symbolize the internal state of a character; he is using 
music to do this. Susanna's music is not in "witching chords" 
nor is it "pizzicati" but melodious. Her concealed imaginings 
are melody ("She searched The touch of springs, And found 
Concealed imaginings. She sighed, For so much melody!'). 
The flowing verse which describes her, changes suddenly 
with "A cymbal crashed And roaring horns!' This introduces 
a note of discord into the harmony of the woman and the gar- 
den. The discord is caused by the elders and it is their music 
which becomes dominant as the Byzantines (who are related 
to the elders rather than to Susanna) enter. Her attendant 
Byzantines scamper in with their appropriate music, the tam- 
bourines. Here is presented an entirely different type of per- 
son whose characteristics are shown by the mincing, iambic 


Part IV parallels the statement of the theme in Part I. It 
opens with the general statement followed by a group of 
images drawn from the preceding stanzas. 

The voice then particularizes this general statement by 
using the historical figure of Susanna. Her "music touched 
the bawdy strings . . V but escaped, leaving the elders de- 
prived of their "witching chords!' They have no music now, 
only "scraping" while Susanna's music is immortal. "It plays 
On the clear viol of her memory, And makes a constant 
sacrament of praise'.' 


Reprinted from The Explicator, November 1955 


Sun patterns through the glass 
strike floor and disperse. 

"Darkness sang its death 

When I came to you; root 

of the world bore its firstborn song. 

Wet, new grass received 

my self, sprung from 

the still of the moving sphere. 

Fireflame thrives on my wet, 
fresh full, renews the 
dust-blind, spinning earth. 

Word-made flesh-made 

Patterns of sun sprinkle the floor; 
focus and blindness slowly return. 




Morning light greyed the large courtroom. The Court called 
the case "Farrell vs. Farrell!' Both counsels rose and stated 
they were ready to proceed. The Judge turned to the attorney 
for the plaintiff. The question came in a strong voice, "Do 
you desire to make an opening statement?" 

The lawyer began, "Briefly, your Honor, what we intend 
to prove is as follows . . !' The ears of justice listened to a 
squat little man mouth the adjectives that were born, raised 
and fattened in divorce courts; the eyes of justice measured 
the new participants in this old game. 

They sat at the counsel table directly in front of and below 
Judge Michael's bench — the two people who had promised 
to "love, honor, and obey till death do us part!' The adjec- 
tives grew louder and longer — "inconsiderate, inattentive, 

The accuser, Susan Farrell, turned sharply without a 
blonde hair of her sleek cap daring to misbehave. Frosty blue 
eyes were directed at the one for whom the adjectives tolled. 
Benjamin Farrell had difficulty in finding something for his 
nervous hands to do. He searched for a cigarette, found one, 
put it between his lips, when a heavy frown from the hover- 
ing bailiff made it disappear as quickly as it had appeared. 

The little man's monotone stopped as he sank into his too- 
small chair. 

The judge nodded to the counsel for the defendant. A bald- 
ish man stood and answered hurriedly, "We will reserve our 
opening statement, your Honor, until plaintiff has completed 
her case!' 

"Very well. Call your first witness, Sir!' 

The little man slurred his announcement, "We will call 
the plaintiff, Mrs. Susan Farrell!' 

She arose, aware that all eyes were upon her. Straight and 
small steps taken in blue pumps led her to the witness box. 


She mounted the three steps. After being sworn in she cast a 
composed smile at the judge. That smile had aided Susan 
Farrell in winning an outstanding position with an advertis- 
ing firm. She must use it today. She crossed gloved hands, 
waited expectantly for her lawyer to begin. The little man 
by asking terse questions then brought forth the date of mar- 
riage and separation. Susan's answering voice was cool. The 
lawyer asked the next question, "Are there any children the 
issue of this marriage?" The cool voice betrayed a small 
tremor, "One!' "Name and age?" "Cynthia Farrell, age 


The rubber band tangled in stray strands of her braid. Cindy 
jerked it, wrinkling her face in pain. "Ouch, one, two, three, 
four. . . '.' She started the count. Daddy had said to count five 
and then cuss if you must. A tear fell on her hand, and she 
brushed it off quickly with a woman's precision. Silver scis- 
sors snipped at the rubber. It fell to the white rug accom- 
panied by a hunk of amber hair. She brushed the loose hair 
furiously. Susan had told her long ago that a lady's hair must 
shine. The beauty parlor polished Susan's twice a week. Cindy 
stared past the tidy image in the blue-framed mirror. If only 
she might step into her looking-glass the way Alice had. Then 
she would live in a topsy-turvy world. One where grownups 
smiled at each other, and ladies never screamed "I hate you" 
— an upside-down-land that didn't need judges. 

She looked at the tiny clock on her dresser. When the big 
hand pointed to twelve, and the little hand pointed to eleven, 
she would be talking to the judge. What did people call 
judges? She wished she could ask Jamie. The bare branches 
of his maple tree were silhouetted through organdy curtains. 
Two uneven braids swung out the window. Twisting her 
head, Cindy whispered, "Jamie!' Pursing her lips she chirped 
a tweet that would have charmed the most reluctant robin. 
There was no answer. Jamie was gone. Daddy said that he 

6 7 

took his family South to keep their feathers warm. Then he 
had told her he might go "some place warmer" too. Cindy 
had asked if some place warmer meant South. "A good idea, 
Cinderella!' And he had smiled his sideways grin. 

"Jamie" she cried. The crisp air was still. Cindy had told 
him everything the way some girls talk to their brothers. 
Once Susan had told her brothers "weren't necessary!' Daddy 
had said, "A luxury, Sue?" She had answered, "Ben, they're 
not easy on your bank account!' 

Cindy drew the organdy curtain back. She didn't need a 
brother. She opened her blue jewel box, carefully placing 
aside a grey feather as she untangled the "happy locket!' 
Engraved on the round gold piece was a clown's face. This 
morning Cindy did not look at the two pictures inside. She 
rubbed the surface on her skirt, as if to remove the wide smile 
the clown wore. Then her small fingers clasped it around her 
neck. "Mr. Clown, you always smile, even when Susan and 
Daddy are in court!' Then her lips slid up at the corners. 
"'Cept maybe you smile because they have to always live in 
my locket — together!' Then Cindy laughed and skipped to 
the window. "Jamie, Jamie — I am going to see the judge 


A figure paused, scanning the black letters on the window. 
They read "Judge Robert L. Michaels" and in smaller print, 
"Domestic Relations'.' The clerk knocked on the heavy door. 
Judge Michaels looked up from the paper he had been 
studying, "Yes, Jim?" 

"Your Honor, you were to see Cynthia Farrell at eleven 
o'clock!' The clerk knew it was customary to interview the 
child involved in such a case out of the presence of the attor- 
neys and of the parties concerned. 

"Just show her in when she comes, Jim!' 

He dreaded these interviews with nail-biting neurotic chil- 


dren who sobbed out coached lines about "an alcohol seeking 
father" or a "company keeping mother!' 

A shadow passed the heavy glass. This glass was his key to 
personalities. For years he had watched his "customers" step 
up to this door for their conference in chambers. An angry 
woman might put out an anxious hand to turn the gold knob 
quickly, while an outraged man would knock heavily. A 
frightened woman would straighten her hat, while a disil- 
lusioned man might pull at his tie. However, the window 
gave no insight into what type of child would open his door. 
That was it, he thought, they seemed suddenly to appear in 
the room. The judge was never completely prepared for those 
"of tender years!' He glanced again at the paper's title, "Far- 
rell vs. Farrell!' Then he pondered the words "All other 
things being equal, the custody of children of tender years 
shall be with the mother" thus read the law. 


The clock placed with his wife's picture on the top of his desk 
told Judge Michaels it was eleven. Suddenly, she was in the 
room. The judge smiled a non- judicial smile, preparing to 
tell her to take a chair. Before his thoughts were in words, 
the small visitor moved lightly to his desk. Grey eyes fringed 
with gold-tipped lashes stared solemnly into his own. A hand 
stretched up waiting to be taken. 

The big man cleared his voice and shook the hand gently. 
He accepted her "How do you do" with surprise. A soft voice 
said, "I'm Cindy Farrell — your . . . a . . . your . . . a . . !' 

"Your Honor, Cindy?" he kindly questioned and informed. 

"Yes — your Honor!' 

She said the two words reverently, then slid up into the 
chair opposite his desk, lowered her eyes, and murmured, 
"Thank you'.' 

She had thwarted all his preliminary questions. The ones 
adults use to put children at ease; the things the paper work 


already told him about name and age. He felt uneasy and 
shifted his big frame in the leather chair. The grey eyes 
watched him. Then a question came, but not from the judge. 
"Is the lady in the picture your wife?" 

"Yes " he answered. 

"She's pretty — do you sleep in the same room?" 

He cleared his throat again. The soft voice continued, 
"Susan sleeps upstairs and Daddy sleeps downstairs in the 
den — now!' 

He slowly formed a question, "Do you know why, Cindy?" 

"Yes" she answered, and her eyes were wide. "People who 
don't love each other never sleep in the same room. It's too 
bad, though, because daddy's legs are way too long for the 
bed in the den!' 

"Well" Judge Michaels began, "your father and mother 
love you, you know that, Cindy!' 

"Yes, I do, your . . . your Honor!' 

He went on, "Both of them want you!' 

A smile like the clown's on her locket came to the oval face. 
"Did they tell you that, sir — your Honor?" 

"Yes, Cindy" — he noticed there were spots of green in the 
grey eyes. "It is the court's responsibility to decide what is 
best for you'.' 

"That means you, doesn't it?" she said. 

"Yes. I suppose if you had your way you would want your 
mother and father to stop fighting so that the family could 
be happy together again?" 

She wound a small fist around the gold locket. She repeated 
his two last words, "Together again!' 

She began to swing a patent leather shoe back and forth, 
and her teeth were biting on her lower lip. "Not after she 
screamed, your Honor!' 

The Judge leaned forward. "Who screamed?" 

"Susan did. T hate you! That's what she kept yelling. I 
think she frightened Jamie away early!' 

"Jamie?" he questioned. The papers had said nothing 


about Jamie. They contained endless facts about the inade- 
quate salary that an easy-going man offered to an ambitious 
woman, the details that spell different ideas and interests. 
The judge imagined Benjamin Farrell lounging in a chair 
reading insurance journals, lulled by a background of hi-fi 
music, while his wife perched on the edge of her chair, long- 
ing for the combo music from her favorite dining spot. But 
Jamie — there had been no mention of a Jamie. 

The child clarified with a guarded statement, "He's my 
very best friend — almost a brother!' 

The Judge asked, "You have no real brothers or sisters?" 
He knew the answer but was surprised at her words. 

"We don't need them — I guess'.' She began to swing the 
other foot. Then added as an afterthought, "You know they're 
hard on bank accounts!' 

"Not always, youngster — " he glanced quickly at the pic- 
ture on his desk. "Will you tell me who this fellow Jamie is?" 

"Can it be a secret?" she asked as she raised a finger to her 
lips. "Susan says people shouldn't care so much for robins!' 

Wrinkling his forehead, the Judge repeated, "Robins?" 

"Yes, he's the smartest, most wonderful robin you ever 
saw!' Her eyes glistened with pride. 

"Oh, I see" said the Judge. The look of pride vanished, and 
the grey eyes turned unconvinced. Perhaps Susan had been 

"Jamie's playmate lives in a world all her own" thought 
the jurist. He cleared his throat, "Cindy do you love both 
your mother and father?" 

"Oh yes, I do, I do!' Even the pigtails nodded. It amused 
him to see one was longer than the other. The answer was 
standard, he thought. It was always that way. The heart of 
a child is large enough to love them all — the warring tribes 
eyeing each other across the court room center aisle. The 
difficulty of the decision ahead deepened the lines in his face. 
Something of his expression reminded Cindy of her school's 
picture of Mr. Lincoln. 


"Could I tell you something" she asked. 

He nodded, but half-listened, as he had trained himself 
to do when the lawyers were arguing something he had 
already decided. 

"I wish — do you suppose you could give me to Daddy?" 
she said in a half-whisper. 

This was a surprise. "And why do you say that, Cindy?" 

"Because — well, you know Daddy has to have some one 
to take care of him if he goes South, and Susan doesn't need 
even one child. She always has herself!' The grey eyes were 

Out of a child's mouth, he mused, comes the summation for 
the failure of this marriage. Benjamin Farrell, a gentle man, 
has a great need for affection, understanding and love. Susan 
Farrell, an intelligent woman, is self-centered and sufficient 
to herself. Here are two people each unable to sense and 
supply the needs of the other. 

The judge smiled, "I thought little girls needed mothers 
to fix dresses, button buttons and braid hair?" 

"Oh, no sir, ever since I've had these" a small hand ges- 
tured toward a braid, "I've fixed them myself. Ladies should. 
They used to be the same size until this morning; the scissors 
made a mistake'.' 

The judge's smile broadened. "Well, I imagine the shorter 
pigtail will soon catch up with the other!' 

Cindy laughed and brightened the room. The decision was 
made. "I think you have it, your father does need you and 
I'm sure you will take special care of him. And I know, too, 
you will have love left over to give your mother each time 
you visit her!' This statement was met with a look of warm 

Yes, thought the Judge, and with love to spare for that 
robin, and all the other little people he knew made her own 
world. Little Miss Sobersides is a strange combination, he 
thought. A child who is forced to bear the burdens of her 
parents, but who has learned to supply her own need for a 


brother by resorting to a fantasy-land. He rose, "Thank you, 
Cindy, and I hope an early spring brings Jamie safely back 

Cindy suddenly smiled and stretched up her hand to say 
goodbye. So people could care for Jamie after all. 

Again the Judge mused — "The custody of children of ten- 
der years shall go to the mother — all things being equal!' 

The pigtails were gone, but bobbed back into the room as 
Cindy's head peeked around the door. She had forgotten. 
"Thank you, and pleased to meet you, your Honor!' She dis- 
appeared, missing his shake of the head and his answer which 
was really a sign, "Tender years, yes, but all things equal, no!' 


Second Prize — Southern California Woman's Press Contest — 1956 


In fading golden lacework of the sycamore 
From southern warmth spring new, green leaves 
Hesitant, afraid, they lean to sodden earth, 
Begging to emit the triumph of their seed. 
Tips tinged with scarlet, they fold back, hold back, 
Until at last, Nativity — the bloom. 


Merit Paper — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1953 



I remember the willow 

The weeping willow by the Loddon 

Its limp loose strands 

Melt into rippling gurgles of shaded water 

Brief golden rays scatter the shaded coolness 

of tear-shaped leaves 
Light strands seek the airy breeze 
A cloak envelops the life-giving stem 

I remember the poplar 

The poplar tree by the gravelled roadside 

Its long straight mast reaches for purer air above 

Slim and supple branches rustle in the joyful breeze 

Arms stretch upward in glee, catch the laughing leaves 

Scattered patches of silver and green chase sunlight beams 

The curve of a candle flame bends in the wind 

I remember the majestic oak 

The king of trees in a field 

Gnarled and battered trunk enclosed in the earth 

Boughs of strength and hardness adamant to the wind 

Stately coverage of brown and green 

Reflects glossy lights of the filtering sun 

A ram steadfast in its watchfulness 

I remember a rootless tree 

Whose members glory in a thorn-crowned Head 

Binding visibly each to each 

Rays of life weave in the darkness 

Outstretched arms engulf the world 

Yielding fruits forever fresh 

Redeeming cross on a sorrowful hill 


Second Prize — Cabrini Literary Guild Contest — 1956 



Why did you leave artful Paris? To frame 

Yourself in quietly falling apples seems 

Strangely narrow of your many-seasoned heart. For 

how tame, 
After a time, is the eternal fruit that beams 
From orchard and drawing-room walls. An instant's delight 
Tongue-ties my flight over the flowers — then away to the 

Of a first green furl somewhere else. I can no more quite 
Immerse myself in still life than in a non- weekending 

countryside's same, 

(And more same) still-living. But I know that you liked it 

from the treat 
You spread out for my pleasure — the invisible wine of a 

Bottle, finger-sweets, and apples enough to eat 
Forever. Only look: these TOO had to be set aside for painting 

It's an exquisite art to take perishable apples and plan 
To keep and give them away with the same hand. 


Third Prize — University of California at Los Angeles 

Poetry Contest — 1956 



The room was dim in the afternoon, one slim beam slid now 
through the front curtains, casting a pattern on the staircase. 
Marguerite glanced toward it, "Do you see there, Ben" she 
said turning back to him, pushing the fine blond hair back 
on his forehead, her hands damp against his soft skin. He had 
such blue eyes, they looked like marbles to her, transparent 
in their endlessness. "My baby" she told him, hugging his 
waist. "My own baby, my baby'.' She thought of her own 
eyes, yellow brown, colorless yellow brown, and whispered, 
"You are the family beauty, Ben, do you know how blue your 
eyes are? I'd give you a pony for your blue eyes, marble eyes, 
a pony with a black tail" Marguerite drew a black tailed pony 
in the air, the air clung to it large and splendid. "Pony, pony" 
she said, drawling the word with tongue movements, "pony, 

"Pony" said Ben, slipping from Marguerite's grasp to 
crawl away on the rug. He said it — Ben had said "pony" — it 
wasn't an easy word. 

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, pony" Marguerite inhaled rapidly and 
unclasped her hands; she looked at Ben, his yellow sweater 
outlined against the patterned rug, "Pony!' Carefully she 
adjusted the falling straps of her brother's blue jeans, caress- 
ing the sweater's huge knit bands of yellow. She lifted Ben 
slowly and sat beside him on the couch, he was comfortable 
here, he was quiet, his rounded legs close against her. She was 
thinking, "I'll find pictures to show Ben!' 

"Pony, pony" Marguerite said, beginning to rub his ears. 
Ben liked that, he made low cooing noises for her. She thought 
about a story. "Some ponies have black and white spots" she 
began her story slowly spinning it for Ben, uniting them in 
the world her story would create, quickly bringing her 
thoughts together. "They, they had a black stallion father, 
I suppose, and a white mare mother" Marguerite laughed, 

7 6 

"and, and sisters and brothers and — oh, Ben, isn't it funny, 
a black and white pony, pony, pony, Ben!' She watched him 

Marguerite stopped laughing, in the middle of a smile she 
stopped. Her legs tangled beneath her as she tried to stand; 
clumsily she knelt before her brother, she tugged at his san- 
daled feet, holding them against her blouse. But if "pony" 
was too much to learn, if even he should forget how to say, 
"Marguerite"? His first word — "Marguerite" the first one, 
the only one, oh, that first time. What if he should forget. She 
laid her face on his legs, her cheeks moved against his blue 
jeans. Of course he would say it. Ben had said his sister's 
name a hundred, a million times — in the morning, when she 
woke him, while he dreamily focused the waking eyes on 
her, when she fed him, as she left for school — last night she 
had heard him saying "Marguerite" while she was studying. 
The day crawled on with the word. He had said it a million 
times. She rocked him in her arms this morning, repeating 

"Be-en, Ben" she breathed softly, "Ben!' She slowly un- 
twined her brother's fingers from the entangled couch fringe, 
"Sissy's name, Ben, sissy's name!' 

Ben's eyes darted from Marguerite to the maroon fringe. 
She put her hand on his shoulder, folding the yellow collar 
back. "Look, look, Ben, sissy, look, Marguerite, Ben, Mar- 
guer-ite. Here!' She pulled his head toward her. 

"Two years" she thought, "Two years — since he was four!' 
Her hands were getting cold on his cheeks. The only word he 
had ever said until he said "pony!' Her name. He had only 
said one word, her name, Mar-guer-ite. She had said it so 
often, patiently repeating to him, "Mar-guer-ite" since Ben 
was four. She had formed his lips gently with her fingers, 
sung it to him, whispered, "Marguerite" for two years. Then 
he had begun to say it haltingly, or swallowing the word in 
a thrust of sound, for the last two months she had listened to 
him call her name in screeched tones or in jerks. Sometimes 


she thought it was the only sound she had ever known, the 
only real thing. 

Two years wasn't such a long time, not really, not at all. 
Marguerite was a long name; it was hard to pronounce, 
' 'Mar" wasn't too difficult, but "guer" had sounds so twisted, 
so hard to form, and then "ite!' Sometimes Ben said "Mar- 
GUEPi-ite" sometimes "MAR-guerite" Whenever he accented 
the syllables, his sister listened, surprised with a flow of warm 
pleasure to know that he was saying her name. Her heart 
beating deeply she listened, picturing the future Ben, twenty- 
five, or thirty, yes, thirty — tall, slender, his blond hair 
combed carefully, his expressive hands gesturing — Ben, wear- 
ing a black, black tuxedo and a stiff, white shirt, Ben, saying 
tenderly, clearly, "Marguerite" his blue eyes gleaming. It 
would be a dedication. A concert. He stood, poised, the slender 
silhouette before his audience. She imagined this often, now 
it was stronger than ever in her, she felt the excitement, the 
heat of the stage lights, the mystery of the black piano, and 
Ben saying, u To MAR-guerite" Just as he would say it now. 
No, no, she would wait, she would wait. He would form the 
syllables any minute. 

She deliberately relaxed her legs and sat back on her 
hands, fingering the carpet. Her eyes sought the book titles 
on the shelves above her. Tom Sawyer. "Tom Sawyer" Mar- 
guerite pictured the book flap: "Popular with young Ameri- 
cans for many years, this classic. . . V Yes, it was popular with 
Ben, too, she read it to him. "To Ben, 1954, Aunt Ann. Merry, 
Merry Christmas" Aunt Ann thought everyone should have 
story books, fairy tales, children's encyclopedias. She liked 
Bible stories best; Marguerite got a Bible last Christmas from 
her. Funny, Aunt Ann never read any of these books to Ben, 
but then Ben doesn't like her at all. Aunt Ann probably knew. 
She didn't know about putting your arm around Ben and 
reading each story with an accent or about acting it out, 
tracing the pictures with Ben's finger, spelling the words, 
watching the words in the deep eyes. 


"How was it when I began to teach him" Marguerite won- 
dered. She leaned against the couch, examining her crossed 
legs, the bent-in toes looked far away. "I think I said it five 
times, slowly!' She reached up for Ben's ears. "Marguerite, 
Mar-guer-ite, Mar-guer-ite, Marguer-ite" Her stomach was 
tight now. Her hands paralyzed, immobile, on Ben's ears. 
Marguer-ITE. Marguerite's teeth clenched. "I can't say it, I 
can't think it, he'll say it, he's thinking it now!' 

Why wasn't he saying it? What was happening? Why had 
she done this? He said it all day, some days. She had only 
been teaching him. Three times in a minute sometimes. Last 
month Mother took him for an admittance physical at the 
Home. Mother told her, it was true, Ben said "Marguerite" 
distinctly, repeating it after the doctor at least four times. 
Then he was quiet and they didn't ask him any more, Mother 
explained it over and over; that was what happened. 

Marguerite thought about it — he said her name to other 
people, everyone in the family, to the doctor. She thought 
about the doctor, "I hope he wears a clean white coat — !' She 
thought about her mother's dirty green checked apron, the 
tie pinned on and the pocket torn. "I wonder how many white 
shirts doctors have!' Then, "Sissy is Marguerite" she said 
aloud. "Sissy, Sissy!' 

.The home was nice, all those trees. The driveway so long, 
the lilac bushes lining it all the way, and swings there for 
him, slides; all the kids played out there, teachers, all that. 
The nurse wore all white and she'd bent down to Ben with 
patience. Marguerite wondered though, would she under- 

Ben was on his stomach. His feet were kicking the couch. 
Marguerite stared at them. The white sandals were moving 
very fast, the anklets were twisted. "Game" she thought, 
clasping a couch pillow to her. 

She began the game, "Da da da da" she beat Indian 
rhythms on the maroon pillow "Play, Ben, Indian chiefs 
around a fire, the teepees, black night, stars, see them? Great 


feast, war dance. Ben beats the music. Ben beats the Indian 
drums. Indian boom boom boom boom. Marguerite, Mar- 
guerite, Mar-guer-er-ite" she chanted the rhythm, moving 
rapidly back and forward on her heels. He watched her; 
he liked the game; little circles of perspiration lighted his 
forehead; she smiled at them and blew quickly, teasingly 
on his ear. "Ben wears feathers and war paint, boom boom 
boom, boom!' His feet were beating fierce, slicing beats, a 
sandal slipped off. Marguerite's eyes glowed, she clapped her 
hands. "Marguerite, Marguerite, Marguerite, Marguerite!' 
Ben began to screech, his chest caved in and out with each 

Marguerite started to the couch and clutched Ben. Her 
movements were slow now, commanding, calm. "Only a 
game, Ben, silly game, silly, silly. Funny Indians. Ben, Ben" 
she held him in her arms, patting his hands, moving his 
twitching body to hers. "Blue eyes, Ben, blue eyes!' He was 
still now. "Ben, good, good, Ben, baby" she rubbed slowly, 
carefully soothing the pulsing legs. Her heart felt every 
breath Ben exhaled, slow, even, slow, none too fast now, 
slow, even. Marguerite rubbed, her arms ached, Ben was 
heavy, his head so heavy. She would hold him forever. She 
would rub Ben's ears, yes, Ben liked that, she pushed the 
fine strands of hair from his face. She held her breath. He 
was quiet. "So good, Ben, he is so good, never fusses" whisper- 
ing, humming, she began, "loves Marguerite!' 

Ben jerked, his nails driving sharply into Marguerite's 
leg. The pink flesh paled at his fingertips. "So short nails, 
can't feel them, Ben, doesn't hurt Marguerite, not even a bit!' 
The color flushed in her cheeks. She wouldn't start teaching 
him again. He could say it if he wanted to — he would. He 
liked to say it, he wanted to say it, his favorite word. "I bet 
he says it just any time" she thought, "Ben, Ben, Ben, Ben!' 
She could wait. They would play and talk now, play, talk. 

Marguerite wondered if her Mother heard Ben's screams 


upstairs. Her eyes examined the stair case. Mother knows I 
have Ben. Mother didn't hear, she is asleep, lying in the bed 
upstairs in the print robe torn in the back, the short one. I 
know how to take care of Ben. I'll take care of Ben this whole 
week. "Ben, school's out now, did I tell you that? No books, 
no leaving in the morning. This week, all week, I have you. 
Next week — for a year, for fifty years, Ben, I'm here. Right 
here, baby Ben!' She rocked her body, aching, stiff. Her blouse 
clung uncomfortably to her back. "I know you'll say it, Ben, 
I'll wait, baby. Just think, no school this week!' 

Marguerite's stomach knotted. "Why doesn't he say, it? 
Here I am, baby. Please say it, Ben, please, please, please, 
once, say sissy's name. I love you, Ben, Ben. Why did I try 
a new word? I should have known. Wouldn't he say it? Was 
he thinking it? Please, wouldn't he say it?" Her feet itched, 
her cheeks were dry, she reached down and tugged at her 
shoelaces. He had called her this morning during breakfast, 
crying for her to come. "Oh, please, Ben, I love you, so much, 
I love you. Say it, Ben, you do so well, it sounds so . . . my 
baby, say my name" she thought. She knew he wasn't going 
to say "Marguerite!' 

She dropped Ben's hands. He would never say it. He 
couldn't. He'd forgotten. He hated her. He didn't even know 
her. He'd never say her name. He couldn't think it. "mar- 
guer-ite" she wanted to shout. It was all she cared about in 
the world, it was more and he wouldn't say it. She hated him, 
hated him, he'd never say it, she knew it now, she was posi- 
tive. He could go tomorrow, she'd let him. Mother explained 
it all so well. She didn't even care. She detested that sweater. 
Hate yellow. They could take him anywhere. She'd never 
come to see him. She'd taught him for two years. She'd loved 
him. He'd said it a million times. She'd never think of him. 
She stared at Ben. "He's so quiet, he's so good" she sneered. 
"Stupid" she gasped, "stupid, idiot, stupid. Ugly!' The word 
pierced her ears. Sobs began tearing at her ribs, pulling her 


lips, hurting, hurting. "Say it, say it, Mar — say it — guer — 
say it — it — ite — Ben, I love you, I love you, baby brother 
baby, I love you" she clutched the maroon fringes, "Mar- 
guerite loves you!' 

Ben turned on his back. "Pony" he said clearly. 


Merit Paper — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1955 


The time of beauty comes at six o'clock 

In Kalaupapa; green and grey the line 

That etches yellow sky with seaward cliffs; 

A thousand glimmers on a calm Pacific 

Sparkling, dying, catching once again 

The brilliant eye of morning sun. It comes 

At six o'clock, the time of charity, 

Around a jutting bend, the blackened hull 

Like insect lost in yards of moire silk, 

Molopa, faithful little island ship — 

Cargo rich with pipes for mountain rains, 

With letters, trinkets, unreal gaiety — 

For bodies rotting on an Eden's hell. 

"Monsigneur!" The surly Portuguese 

Spat yellow where the waters danced. 

"Ay, friend?" Grey eyes, undimmed though aging, 

Where knotted fingers indicate the shore. 
"Kalaupapa — lepers all, poor devils . . !' 
"Would that I could be there, mon ami!' 
"What use, Monsigneur?" They have Damien!' 
Below the ship a mellow voice rings out 
Where silently a skiff had crept unnoticed 
Through the dawn: "But who shrives Damien?" 


Through varied toil his cassock stained and thin, 
His forehead grooved by other than his years, 
The Belgian Martyr kneels, intent and humble. 
Seven feet and no more can his shell 
Approach the anchored ship; more deep, 
More wide than sea — the fear of rotting flesh. 
"A year, mon pere, since I have been absolved . . !' 

"Ego te absolve . . " Lifted hand 
Imparts a blessing carried by the breeze. 
And back with soul revivified, he rows 
In silence through the bay of Molokai. 


First Prize $250 — Cabrini Literary Guild — 1953 


How can I love the stubble-beard and nose 

So red, the smell of musty pipe and lotion, 

Unruly hair that matches garish clothes, 

(The shirts of purple-pink that strike his notion) ? 

How can I bear the teasing jokes and taunts 

Of manly power, disdainful looks of scorn 

That mock my fragile strength and female wants, 

Forgetting he was once a mother's thorn? 

And yet I know how helpless is his glance 
When I am crying, how he soothes my care, 
How I enjoy the jealous, fretting try 
To disregard another, because a simple stare 
Betrays the tender words I want to know. 
Another brawny male is now in tow. 


Merit Paper — Atlantic Monthly Contest 



Under Milk Wood would be deserving of careful reading and 
study if only for the fact that it is the last work of Dylan 
Thomas, but it is more than that. Under Milk Wood is a 
beautifully written expressionistic fantasy, expertly con- 
structed and highly symbolic. The purpose of this article is 
to discuss the aspects of expressionism in Under Milk Wood 
showing how they occur and develop in the play. Necessary 
to such discussion is an understanding of the aims and char- 
acteristics of expressionism, and from this basis I will proceed 
to an analysis of the play itself in terms of structure and 

The aim of expressionism is to objectify inner experience 
— to reveal the inner reality lying beneath the surface of 
things; external verisimilitude is unimportant, for expres- 
sionism finds only the truth of inner reality worthy of con- 
sideration. The characters found in expressionistic works are 
types rather than individuals. Often objects and people are 
dreamlike, shadowy, and distorted to grotesque proportions; 
the scenes which center around a dream or reverie may be 
partially or purely realistic, and suddenly the literal repre- 
sentation of external reality will shift to the super-reality of 
the character's inner self. The action in an expressionistic 
play is abrupt, fantastic, and multi-leveled, and it is usually 
accompanied by music or symbolic actions. Many theatrical 
techniques are used: masks, tricky lighting, choral groupings, 
rhythmical movements, fade-ins and outs, and transforma- 
tion of scenery. Finally, expressionistic drama is strongly 
influenced by modern psychology and makes great use of it, 
especially that of Freud. 

Miss Snow won second place in Atlantic Monthly National Contest with her 
"Aspects of Voice and Address in Paton's Cry, the Beloved Country" Because of 
its length and the difficulty of condensing this article, we have substituted her 
study of Under Milk Wood. 


Under Milk Wood is expressionistic in both matter and 
form since its structure is based upon the relationship of 
dream and reality, of day and night, and its theme is the 
super-reality of the ego. Within his play Dylan Thomas 
establishes an almost perfect balance between the type char- 
acterizations required by expressionistic drama and the liv- 
ing individuals which genuine creativity produces. Under 
Milk Wood presents in a capsule both the exterior and interior 
life of the small Welsh village of Llareggub. Llareggub is a 
coastal village, fishing boats ride at anchor on its shores, and 
it is edged on one side by a wood — Milk Wood. A main street, 
Coronation Street, divides the village; and the local pub, the 
Sailor's Arms, plays a large part in village life. 

The characters of Llareggub are made highly individual 
because of the detailed description given to them, but at the 
same time, their actions make them symbolic of a universal 
type. Every Welsh fishing village has its retired sea captain, 
but only Llareggub has blind Captain Cat; there is a prude- 
and-prism in every town, but only Mrs. Ogmore-Pritchard 
could possibly have the ghosts of both husbands in the same 
house; and even while they are symbols of ineffectual love, 
only Myfanwny Price and Mog Edwards could exchange 
their particular correspondence. 

.This balance which Thomas creates between individual 
and type is established chiefly by means of a subtle humor 
which permeates the play. Thomas also uses comic fantasy 
to great effect and succeeds in establishing many of his char- 
acters by means of it. Dai Bread with his two wives, one for 
duty and one for pleasure; Mr. Pugh, the arch poisoner; and 
Polly Garter (the only purely stock character in the play) all 
are vivified by an illuminating humorous touch. 

Since there is no definite break for act or scene in Under 
Milk Wood, there seems to be a problem in presentation. 
Actually the play falls into two equal parts: the time of night 
and its fantastic dreams is equal to the daytime and its real 
actions. The play begins at night, and it is opened by two 


voices which act as chorus throughout. This chorus links the 
two parts together. It functions chiefly during the night; day 
finds its importance declining. 

The two chorus-voices alternate. During night and dream- 
time the voices describe, introduce and comment. During day 
and action they describe and introduce, but do not comment. 
In this way Thomas observes the expressionistic device of 
weaving the different scenes around a dream of reverie which 
may be partially or purely realistic; and on the other hand, 
breaking the fantasy of the night with the commonplace 
happenings of the day. 

Another characteristic of expressionistic drama is the use 
of the mask. In Under Milk Wood the night acts as a mask. 
It reveals only thoughts, not faces. "Only you can hear and 
hear behind the eyes of the sleepers, movement, and coun- 
tries, and mazes and colors, and dismays, and rainbows and 
tunes and wishes and flight and fall and despairs and big seas 
of their dreams!' Such use of dreams is a feature of expres- 
sionistic drama; and in this use of dream-imagery, expres- 
sionism was strongly influenced by the theories of Freud. 
Characters in the play are introduced and described as they 
lie sleeping; then their voices float out of the darkness in their 
dream monologues. "From where you are" says the First 
Voice, "you can hear their dreams!' 

The transition from night to day is accomplished by an 
exceptionally poetic interlude. The chorus introduces Lord 
Cut Glass, a villager who is obsessed with clocks, and this 
obsession brings in the note of time. Just as sleeping people 
have no concept of time, so there has been no awareness of 
time passing in the darkness of the dreamers until Lord Cut 
Glass is mentioned and the clocks go "tick tock tick tock tick 
tock tick tock!' Then the chorus resumes the narrative and 
brings the dawn and day to Llareggub. 

First Voice-. Time passes. Listen. Time passes. An owl flies home 
past Bethesda, to a chapel in an oak. And the dawn inches up. 


Second Voice: Stand on this hill. This is Llareggub Hill, old as the 
hills, high, cool and green. From it you can see all the town below 
you sleeping in the first of the dawn. 

You can hear the lovesick woodpigeons moaning in bed. A dog 
barks in his sleep, farmyards away. The town ripples like a lake 
in the waking haze. 

A guide-book voice interrupts and gives a flat prosaic descrip- 
tion of Llareggub: "Less than five hundred souls inhabit the 
three quaint streets, the few narrow bylanes and scattered 
farmsteads that constitute this small decaying watering-place 
which may, indeed, be called a backwater of life" without 
disrespect to its natives who possess, to this day, a salty indi- 
viduality of their own. Following a particularly poetic pas- 
sage, this flat prose of the guide book creates a break in the 
action of the play. With this break Llareggub passes from 
night to day. 

The chorus then returns with its narration, but not so 
freely or poetically as in the dream. Beyond this point the 
voices of the chorus decrease in importance; they serve mere- 
ly to introduce and provide a small amount of description. 
The technique used here is that of a chorus within a chorus; 
after the two voices introduce one character, that character 
introduces others in turn through his commentary. 

•While the characters are being introduced, the morning 
action of Llareggub begins to unfold. Captain Cat, always the 
first one awake, pulls the townhall bellrope, and Reverend Eli 
Jenkins says his morning prayer. His prayers always take the 
form of poems and always he mentions Milkwood, the tiny 
dingle he has loved all his life. 

The day then passes in kaleidoscopic flashes. It begins with 
Willy Nilly, the mailman, as he goes through the village. His 
letters have already been steamed open by Mrs. Willy Nilly, 
and in the best small town mailman tradition he tells the 
village news to one and all. 

As he goes his rounds and meets the villagers, other char- 
acters are introduced and developed. Mrs. Pugh demands 


that Mr. Pugh bring her glasses, and she sees Lily Smalls 
scrubbing the Beynon's front step, and Sheriff Jack Black on 
his way to arrest Polly Garter for having babies and lum- 
bering down to the strand to see that the sea is still there. 

Blind Captain Cat hears the varied sounds of village life; 
Organ Morgan at his organ, Ocky Milkman, and the house- 
wives at the village pump. Here the chorus of voices breaks 
in, and the speed and quick consonant pattern of their words 
help to create the impression of time and passing. 

The women meet at Mrs. Organ Morgan's general store; 
their gossip widens the reader's knowledge of Llareggub and 
brings in more character description. Captain Cat hears the 
school children come from morning session; and Gwennie, a 
miniature Polly Garter, tries to entice the boys into Milk 

Reverend Eli Jenkins works on the history of Llareggub 
he is writing: "he tells only the truth in his life work: the 
population, main industry, shipping, history, and topogra- 
phy!' Of course, Reverend Jenkins tells only half the truth, 
and Dylan Thomas is never interested in this half. 

The day of Under Milk Wood ends in a partial return to 
the night of the first part, and this partial return is accom- 
plished by an evening which seems suspended in time: "Now 
the town is dusk. Each cobble, donkey, goose and gooseberry 
street is a thoroughfare of dusk; and dusk and ceremonial 
dust, and night's first darkening snow, and the sleep of birds, 
drift under and through the live dusk of this place of love. 
Llareggub is the capital of dusk!' 

At the doorway of his house, Reverend Jenkins prays his 
sunset poem, and in this poem is contained the whole theme 
of the play, and the meaning of the Milk Wood which bounds 
the small village of Llareggub. 

We are not wholly bad or good 
Who live our Lives under Milk Wood, 
And Thou, I know, wilt be the first 
To see our best side, not our worst. 


Now the evening activities begin, and once more the chorus 
assumes paramount importance. Babies and grandpas are 
tucked into bed. "Unmarried gals, alone in their privately 
bridal bedrooms, powder and curl for the Dance of the World'.' 
The men in the Sailors' Arms have their drinks; Organ Mor- 
gan goes to chapel to play the organ; blind Captain Cat climbs 
into his bunk; Myfanwy Price and Mog Edwards write their 
every-night love letter, and Mog hugs his lovely money; and 
in Milk Wood Mr. Waldo hugs his lovely Polly Garter. 

Under Milk Wood is in a continual flux, not so much in 
time (since there is a definitely established progression from 
night to day to evening) as in point of view and focus. There 
is an endless criss-cross of characters and statements, and a 
constantly shifting view of the Milk Wood itself. The flux 
and contrast of youth and age is especially important. Old 
men and babies are mentioned together. Captain Cat, one of 
the most important characters, seems to stand for age. The 
theme of procreation and growth, moreover recurs constantly. 
It is seen in people and animals. This theme is related to and 
modulates into that of birth and death. The chorus states 
these ideas directly: "The town is as full as a love bird's eggl' 

The importance of the Milk Wood which bounds the Vil- 
lage is established by the title of the play. Milk Wood seems 
to stand for either human nature or human life in the world. 
There is, of course, the real wood outside Llareggub which 
naturally plays a part in the lives of the villagers. But since 
the people are types and symbols (as well as highly individ- 
ualized characters, as has been seen), Milk Wood means 
many other things and is seen under various aspects. It is the 
sensuality of Polly Garter and of little Gwennie who want 
to be kissed in Milk Wood. It is a "God-built garden" to Mary 
Ann and the Sailors, and to Reverend Jenkins it is a "green- 
leaved sermon on the innocence of man!' 

This, then, is Dylan Thomas' expressionistic drama Under 
Milk Wood. It is a play of external and internal character 
rather than of action — a play filled with subtle and beautiful 


sound and lighted by Welsh humor. It is a play where, per- 
haps, Dylan Thomas' whole creative philosophy is expressed 
in Reverend Jenkins' poem (sunset) : "We are not wholly 
bad or good Who live our lives under Milk Wood!' 


Merit Paper — Atlantic Monthly Contest — 1955 


I prescribe: 

One walk on a misty night 

With a warm brown coat 

Buttoned up tight, 

And hair flying 

Wet and free, 

And then a fire, 

And a cup of tea. 

And if possible: 

Have someone close and dear 

Sittting very, very near, 

Talking very tenderly, 

Or just there, silently. 

And if your spirit's ruffled still, 

The trouble's only with your will. 




The key- 
to my 
is struggle. 

The struggle lasted 

all year and when 

I awoke it was still 



The secret was there 

behind the night, 

but the key slipped 

from my tired mind. 

(01 could be a 
hundred things: 
porter, singer or 
shoeshine boy, or a 
gentleman's gent and 
wear a vest. Too bad 
I hear street cleaners are 
all white this season.) 

I have always 
prided myself 
on my tolerance. 

For days 

the years 

have been terribly wrong. 

The monotony of 

superiority has smothered 

the light, 

but I'm sure that 

something will 

break the spell. 


(0 they're all right 
in their proper place; 
but they just don't seern 
to see the line 
between the races, 
if you know what I mean 
We really must sell, 
they're right next door, 
and Jenny's so young.) 


Accepted for publication in Beginnings, Sheed and Ward anthology — 1956 




Helen V Shubert 

First Prize 


Lelia O'Brien 

Honorable Mention 


Elizabeth Anne Joyce 

First Prize 


Harriet Weaver 
(Scholarship to Mills College) 

Elizabeth Anne Joyce 
Marguerite Flood 

First Prize 

Second Prize 
Third Prize 


Helen Purcell 

First Prize 


Peggy Mahoney 

First Prize 


Margaret O'Connell 

First Prize 


Teresa Milligan 
Marie Deiler 
Jane Dorward 

First Prize 
Second Prize 
Third Prize 


Teresa Mary Milligan 

First Prize 


Mary Elizabeth Pansini 

Honorable Mention 



Beata Bowman 

First Prize 


Genevieve Saavedra 

Nature Prize 


Anna Jane Marshall 

Religion Prize 


Mary Phillips 

First Prize 


Frances Pierce 

Second Prize 

Teresa Mary Milligan 

Religion Prize 

Frances Pierce 

First Prize 


Frances Pierce 

First Prize 

Wanda Mae Corlett 

Honorable Mention 

Mary Helen Emerson 

Honorable Mention 

Genevieve Saavedra 

First Prize 


Mary Helen Emerson 

First Prize 

Lucille McCullagh 

Second Prize 

Frances Pierce 

First Prize Sonnet 




1942 Monica Fitzgerald 
Rosemary Harris 

1943 Mary Elizabeth Pansini 
Helen Neumeier 
Helen Fitzpatrick 
Joan Cunningham 
Peggy Jean Kieffer 

Onriette Lebron 

Reiko Hatsumi 

Lillian Pereyra 
Shirley Burke 
Mary Joan Storm 
Patricia Bollig 
Ann Scott 
Jacqueline Cereghino 

1953 Mary Jo Rennison 

1 954 Claudette Drennan 
Mary Joan Storm 
Margaret Cain 
Milania Austin 
Claudette Drennan 

1955 Sally Snow 

Margaret Cain 
Bruna Bernasconi 
Katherine Kigami 
Patricia L. G. Ching 
Patricia Ann Fitzgerald 

1956 Carron Vincent 
Pamela Brink 

Honorable Mention Short Story 
Honorable Mention Short Story 

Top Paper Essay 
Top Paper Essay 
Top Paper Essay 
Top Paper Short Story 
Top Paper Short Story 

Top Paper Short Story 

Top Paper Short Story 

First Prize Poetry 
Merit Paper Poetry 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Top Paper Essay 
Top Paper Essay 
Merit Paper Short Story 

Merit Paper 

First Prize Essay 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Story and Poem 

Second Place Essay 
Merit Paper Essay 
Honorable Mention 
Merit Paper Essay 
Merit Paper Essay 
Fourth Place Poetr}^ 
Honorable Mention Poetry 
Merit Paper Story 

Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Essay 



1950 Teresa Hatsumi 

1952 Shirley Burke 
Barbara Selna 

1953 Patricia Ching 
Patricia Harmon 

1954 Milania Austin 
Claudette Drennan 
Mary Lou Crede 
Betty Mae Cabral 
Catherine Kigami 
Helen Osako 

1955 Enedina Marcia Garcia 
Luann Jones 

Sharon Elizabeth Fay 
Margaret Mary Sprigg 
Patricia L.G. Ching 
Margaret Cain 
Sue Carol Edwards 
Lillian Eileen Scott 

1956 Bruna Bernasconi 
Danuta Krotoska 
Susan Crowe 
Constance Serbent 
Sheila Crampton 
Mary C. O'Connor 
Yvonne J. Zornes 
Wendy Freedman 
Dianne Lucille Smith 
Mary Bambrick 

First Prize Story 

Second Prize Essay 
First Prize Story 

First Prize Poem 
Third Prize 

First Prize Story 
Fourth Prize Story 
Honorable Mention 
Honorable Mention 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Essay 

First Prize Story 
Second Prize Story 
Third Prize Story 
Second Prize Poem 
Third Prize Poem 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention 
Honorable Mention Poem 

Second Prize Story 
Second Prize Poem 
Third Prize Essay 
Third Prize Poem 
Honorable Mention 
Honorable Mention 
Honorable Mention Essay 
Honorable Mention Poem 
Honorable Mention Poem 
Honorable Mention Poem 


1955 Margaret Cain 
Joan Martha Carey 

1956 Kathleen Burke 

First Prize 
Second Prize 

Second Prize 



1955 Carron Margaret Vincent First Prize 

Beverly Jean Turmell Second Prize 

Marie Louisa Zeuthen Honorable Mention 


1 947 Betty Jean Elmore 

1948 Regina De Coursey 
Delores Rashford 

First Prize Essay 

First Prize Essay 
Second Prize Poem 



1942 Joan Patrick Second Prize 


1940 Margaret O'Connell First Prize 

1941 Beata Bowman Charter First Prize 

1955 Barbara Selna 



Patricia Fitzgerald 

Luann Jones 
Carron Vincent 

Essay (Published in Renascence 

in summer of 1955) 

Story in Today; November, 1955 

Story in Today; January, 1955 
Poem in Sheed and Ward 
book — Beginnings