Saturday September 9, 2006

       

        

  Interesting outline found in "Chief          Modern Poets of England and                       America".

I bought this book today at an estate sale.  It is a third edition copyright 1943.  This one was reprinted July, 1947.  It is printed on the thin almost newsprint paper that was used during W.W.II. (because of war time restrictions) This copy was evidently used as a text book as the pages are full of handwritten notes in pencil.  "Selected and Edited by Gerald DeWitt Sanders and John Herbert Nelson".  The book is signed inside by a Sig. Gretzner of Wayne, Michigan.  I assume he was the original owner and the person who hand wrote the text inside. There was a business card used as a book mark inside.  "Metalmasters Manufacturing Co.".  I believe it was marking page 546 and 547.  On page 547 starts "The Dinner-Party" by Amy Lowell. 

I bought this book simply because it had poetry in it.  I have a growing collection of poetry books. Then I found this outline hand written in pencil at the beginning of the book.

I am here giving you the text of the outline handwritten on the inside front cover of the book. Some of the handwriting is difficult to decipher.  A person almost has to be a cryptanalyst in order to read it. 

The outline is titled, "Essentials fact about the man as a man".  I have "corrected" the title a little bit.  Also a lot of the "points" in the outline should be questions.  I have punctuated it as it was in the original. 

This outline is probably the questions that "one" is supposed to ask oneself when reading the poetry inside this book.  Modern readers of this outline would consider it "sexist", especially since there are at least four women poets included in this book.  This text uses "man" as an all inclusive noun.  At the time this was written, that was perfectly good grammar. I guess it is "sexist" under the modern way of looking at things.  I do have this idea in my mind that in 1947, women were not all that common as students at Oxford or Cambridge.  I don't remember when they were allowed to get full degrees from Oxford.  But then you have to understand also, the context in which this outline was written.  It was probably written by a man, Sig. (Sigmund?) Gretzner.  If he was in college or university, he was more than likely in a class full of male students--- men returning from W.W. II.  Then to top it off, his professor or teacher was also probably a man (male person).

I. Essential facts about the man as a man.

A. Environment and its influence.

B. Schoolingówas he a college man or highschool. Oxford or Cambridge graduate.

C. Family Life

D. Professional interests. affect on his writings.

II. His Poetry.

A. Subject Matter.

1. What is his attitudes toward love.

a) Is his emphasis upon love as a spiritual fashion.

b) Does he idealize love or is he cynical.

2. What is his attitude towards nature.

a) Does he love nature for its beauty alone.

b) Does he use nature as a background for his own emotions.

c) Is nature the basis for reflection on God & Eternity.

3. What is his attitude toward God and the after life.

a) Is his belief conventional.

b) Does he doubt the existence of a loving God.

c) Does he believe in a transcendent being but not a conventional God.

d) What is his belief of eternity.

4. What is his attitude towards man?

 

a) Can he understand people other than himself?

b) Of what type are the people he understands?

 

c) How does he feel about people: cynical, kindly, tolerant?

d) Is he a humanitarian?

5. What subject matter other than the subjects listed above interested him.

6. What seems to be his general philosophy of life.

a) Is he pessimist or an optimist.

b) Is he a romanticist or a realist.

B. The form of his poetry.

1. Is he experimental in form.

2. What forms interest: stanza, blank  verse, free verse, and so forth. See chaps 8, 9, 10 in the primer.