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About Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012 | View Entire Issue (Nov. 10, 1945)
Ayiait'iop.lie to ,lfoutlt
Ebbing youth that breathed to the flow of time
Did you know life’s brutal game?
Did you hear its voiceless claim ?
You bragged to make all barriers sublime.
Did you loose your Anal strength?
Were your dreams too great in length?
Ah goading youth driven by'the flux of souless time.
I have never feared that my body would some day die of star
vation. But there is a hunger that my soul has felt, and I was
poor in that long past. But in that one unforgettable hour, I was
poorer than I had ever been before .... my soul was starving.
I cannot remember the day; I have long lost count of them. But
I know it was winter—tor tne
whole earth was as dismal and
empty as my soul.
It seemed that the earth’s fire
too had gone out forever. There
was the sky, somber and dark
while the moaning wind sang her
dirge in a low disconsolate wail.
Time was no longer going on;
there was no measuring of eter
nity. The earth, too, had stopped
revolving—now it was as people
had feared long ago. Those upon
the other side had already fallen
off. Here was the wind deploring
a great silent, motionless earth.
Eventually the sphere would give
one great twist, and then we on
this side would also fall off—after
that there would be nothing. An
ineffible, abnormal silence would
envelope the earth like an ever
lasting shadow. The sound of man
would be gone forever . . . but the
wind would forget man and his
infant existence; time would for
get . . . There would be a bit of
stone, the remnents of the mortals.
But after the first breath of eter
nity that, too, would be gone.
It was then, as I was waiting
for that great twist that would
cast me out into the measureless
space that I realized my soul was
pleading to my senses, and I could
not answer. This was a kind of
death . . . this was life within the
womb, mute, deaf . . . forever un
seeing . . .
All morning I walked along the
gray streets, wondering if I would
die before I found the food for
which I craved. I wondered if
among all those others that
walked so hurriedly on their way,
there was perhaps one like me
whose soul was hungry. Perhaps
he too visioned himself lying dead
upon the cold warted street. Per
haps as the small curious crowd
would gather about the body, he
too would see his own spirit stand
ing apart from them invisible, in
audible . . . forever unknown . . .
“Yes,” I thought that would be
my death. They would say “Poor
wretch, died of starvation, and in
a Country like this one! Why
didn’t he beg? Some one would
have helped him.”
They would never know, never
know that my soul starved before
my body. They would find the
address in my pocket. And when
they found that wretched little
room, they would find the echo of
my lost soul there. They would not
understand, not even then. Per
haps they would laugh ... a little ;
ironically, “A poet, you might
have guessed it . . . proud lot . . .
wouldn’t beg . . . never did know
one that begged. Always poor . . .
never any money . . . silent too,
always thinking. It's a miserable
Yes, it’s a miserable world . . .
such a poor poor world, but 1
would be from it. Ah, poor mor
tals! Perhaps one of them would
understand, would know ... or
perhaps none would see. ‘‘Mad . . .
speaks here of another world ...
crazy . . . poets usually are, well
he's better off now.”
Better off now? Now? Where
am I now? And as suddenly as I
had come to man, I would be gone
from him. I would look around, so
this is death . . . but what is this ?
Perhaps it would be gray and
dismal like the lonely, warped
street. Perhaps I would walk, walk
and search, ever searching for that
something with which to nourish
my soul. Or perhaps . . .
The street stopped there, and I
had stopped with it. I was alive,
and no one wondered whether I
was mad or not. No one knew that
my soul was starving ... no one
Afternoon had come, and the
shadows, becoming long, crept out
of the corners and moved silently
across the streets. I stood there
for a moment where the street had
Stopped and stared back the way
I had come. The confusion and
turmoil of the busier streets came
to me only as a sound from far
away, like that ever lamenting
murmur of distant surf. Yet the
sound was not the same. They
were both doleful, ever deploring.
. . . one bewailing his own incur
able self-made ills . . . the other
having no ignobleness yet ever in
condolence. There is something
about the sound of the sea that is
patient and eternal, something
We Specialize in
Ph. 4527 Open 10 to 10
/}p,a4,t*LQpJte ia $<j,e
Vanished, silenced now through the bittered years.
Age, how dormant are your dreams.
How lost tlie echo of your schemes.
Now \ outli comes you feel .forboding fears.
Mocked by sorrow, you shall lave
Alone in \ outh’s new-dug grave.
Ah grieving Age. entombed by the hands or
Valerie Overland and
This page is devoted to short
stories and poems contributed by
students and faculty members ot
the University. Contributions
should be turned in to the literary
editors, in care of the editor,
that the sound of that busy street
could never possess.
It was not until the rain began
to fall that I realized I was still
standing on that lonely street that
had been soundlessly enmantled
by a darkening mist. There was a
silence too that had enveloped the
earth. It seemed as though all time
had stopped. Yesterday, now, to
morrow all merged into one, there
was no measurement, no space or
distance, no time . . . nothing . . .
nothing but emptiness . . . nothing
but a great hollowness ... I stood
tense, afraid, alone, forever alone
. . . then I heard the rain again.
It intervened upon the stillness
like the breath from out of the
tomb. I began to walk quickly
back toward the inner city. I could
see dim lights through the haze
on the street. Then came the sound
and the confusion, yes, even the
confusion was better than that
emptiness. But it all came across
a great gulf. A gulf that was more
than distance. A gulf that was im
measureable with either space or
time. A gulf over which no soul
could ever pass.
I stood there for a moment try
ing to reach them. There was a
small crowd standing hushed and
solemn in a circle. Then someone
spoke. What was it they said?
Starved? Someone starved ... “In
this land? Why didn’t he beg?
Some one would have helped him.
Starved in this land? Starved?”
I remember I had asked, “Did
his soul starve? Was it his body?
Won’t some one tell me? Did his
soul starve?” I stood above the
dead form on the street. I looked
into the face . . . the face. They
took some papers from his pocket.
“A poet, you might have guessed,
proud lot . . . wouldn’t beg . . .
never did know one that would.
Always poor . . . never any money
. . . silent too, always thinking.
It’s a miserable world. Funny one,
this one . . . crazy . . . listen to
this . . .
“Oh Master—author of my soul,
hear me now this final hour . . .
Earthy freedom I possess though
my mind is an unchained slave,
parolled from m a d n e s s—from
which this passion is the dower.”
“Wonder what he meant . . .
crazy . . . poets usually are, well
he’s better off now.”
I looked again at the dead face
. . . Better off now? Where am I
now ? Where is the light ? The
sound? Don’t disappear! The mist
is here again! Where is yesterday?
Tomorrow? They are one! No dis
tance . . . No space . . . Time?
What is time ? Nothing but empty
ness, nothing but a great hollow
ness . . . Better off? There is the
gray dismal street ... I must walk
. . . walk . . . walk. Search ... I
must search . . . search . . . search ?
No, no, not search. Searching is
for the living. There is light and a
sound . . . One sound, I can answer
now. “Oh master, probation ends
with the grave.”
by Lois Coleman. If you can
A hand full of dust
Forbidden the wind that blows.
Forbidden the sea that flows.
Devoid of all virtue or sin.
Each grain the ruin of what it might have been.
Some lonely heart, pregnant with passioned fire.
Soul of sound, gifted ear of song. Unborn rhapsody.
Mind with inward eye, sight for visioned beauty.
From the dungeon of the womb.
To the prison of the tomb !
She was kneeling on a patch of
earth, her bare head bent over the
little seedlings as she gently
pressed the soil about their stems.
I remember when nothing but
weeds had covered that vacant
space that had gaped forlornly
before the doorstep of the little
gray house. But now the great
empty space looked smaller. A
hedge encircled the yard and
specks of color had sprung up
from the brown earth. Her first
words had startled me. “Goot
morgen.” She threw her head back
as she spoke.
‘‘Good morning,” I said. “I think
your garden is very pretty.” She
smiled ^broadly. Her strength was
not just in her hands and arms,
but in her eyes and in the sound
of her voice.
‘‘Ja,” she mused, ‘‘flowers make
the earth beautiful.” I agreed and
passed on my way.
It was early summer when I saw
Annya Stroub again. She had
come to borrow an egg. I asked
her about the garden. She laughed
and said the garden was growing
fast “Goot.” She added that it
grew even better here than it did
“at home.” I didn't ask where “at
Early the next afternoon her
eight-year-old son, Jon, brought
back two eggs. “Your mother only
borrowed one egg,” I told him. But
he had backed away from me with
a painful shyness and before I
could speak again was gone.
The next time she borrowed a
cup of sugar. When she returned
the following afternoon with two
(Please turn to pa ye seven)
Sweaters of All Colors
Skirts of the Latest Style