SEXTANT The Journal of Salem State University
Volume XXIV, No. 1
A B O U T S E X T A N T
Editor’s Note Sextant: The Journal of Salem State University Volume XXIV, No. 1: Spring 2018 President John D. Keenan Provost and Academic Vice President David Silva Editor Peggy Dillon, Communications Sextant Advisor Gail Gasparich, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences Editorial Board George Abboud, Sport and Movement Science Peg Ackerman, Nursing Cleti A. Cervoni, Education Robert Daniell, Management Cathy Fahey, Library Bethany Jay, History Mark J. Malloy, Art + Design Shannon A. Mokoro, Social Work Anne Noonan, Psychology Alexandria Peary, English Arthur Riss, English Leah E. Ritchie, Management Steven E. Silvern, Geography Keja Valens, English Design and Production Susan McCarthy, Marketing and Creative Services Graduate Assistant Jessica Analoro
Sextant: The Journal of Salem State University is published by the faculty and librarians of Salem State University. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policies of Sextant: The Journal of Salem State University or Salem State University. Copyright © 2018 Sextant encourages readers to submit letters or comments to: Sextant, c/o Editor Peggy Dillon Salem State University Communications Department 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970 or email@example.com Letters may be published and edited according to space. Sextant articles may be reprinted with permission of the editor.
Since its inaugural issue in 1986, the Sextant has reflected the myriad interests of members of Salem State’s academic community (see inside back cover). In that first volume, biologist Johnes Moore explored how marine animals filter feed, a natural process threatened by polluted waters; historian William Thompson used interviews and archival records to describe life on the Massachusetts home front during World War II; English professor Ann Taylor contrasted the timelessness of the Florida Everglades with the wetlands’ struggle to survive amidst development and other threats; and geographer William Hamilton discussed the then-nascent field of computer-assisted cartography and geographic information systems. In that same issue, poet Claire Keyes wrote about pilgrimage and sunflowers, and photographer Shelby Adams displayed black-and-white photos of residents of his native eastern Kentucky as part of his ongoing autobiographical search. Art professor Thomas Leary explained how his oil painting “Hemlock Glen” came to adorn the Sextant’s first cover. John Engelke (chemistry and physics), John Mack (business administration), and Charles Budrose (psychology) wrote book reviews on subjects as disparate as mass extinction, Wall Street greed, and criminal behavior. Mathematics professor Robert Mooney encouraged social science researchers to use a particular statistical model as a valuable prediction tool. This Sextant issue, published 32 years later, continues the original legacy of presenting a broad array of academic research and creativity. Communications Professor Chris Fauske writes about the history of Salem’s Alpha Cricket Club, which was re-constituted in the 1860s and played on for just over a decade. His deep dive into the club’s hand-written records allows him to detail cricket matches on Salem Common, recover some all-but-lost poetry by the scion of a venerable Salem family, and trace the painstaking efforts of Enrique Victor Emilio to preserve what records he could of a club that had once meant much to him but had almost faded from history. In so doing, Fauske reminds us of the vital role that the Peabody Essex Museum has played in preserving Salem history. In “Mindsets Matter in Education,” Cheryl Williams—an assistant professor of nursing—explores the growth-mindset model, the power of which lies in its ability to realign students’ thinking and strategies for learning. The model, based on the research of Carol Dweck, especially helps nontraditional students because it affords them a level of resilience and adaptation that, with a combination of hard work and persistence, can lead to increased intelligence and academic success. Agatha Morrell’s narrative about teaching storytelling in Spain through cross-cultural immersion reveals how professors and students can engage with a city’s cultural, religious, and commercial sites to learn more deeply about people and to gain new perspectives about time, place, and community. Business professor Anurag Jain describes the process by which he wrote, directed, and produced the play “The Legend of Emperor Ashoka,” a story of politics, love, greed, and compassion. Meg Black’s landscape, seascape, and garden paintings are luminous and textured. Chris Richard’s trio of poems titled “Flames” speaks to the beautiful and brutal aspects of being a person of color in America. Lastly, John Tamilio III remembers the late Richard Elia. I hope you enjoy this issue. The Sextant is accepting submissions for the 2019 issue. For contributor information, please go to salemstate.edu/sextant. Check out past Sextant issues at issuu.com/sextantssu.
Volume XXIV, No. 1
E S S A Y S “A Team That Carried Everything Before It”: The Lost History of the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem By Chris Fauske
10 Courtesy of Darpan Theater
Mindsets Matter in Education By Cheryl A. Williams
Resurrecting Emperor Ashoka through the Dramatic Arts: A Labor of Love and Madness By Anurag Jain
Kand (the Fierce) Ashoka and his wife, Devi, reminisce about the Storytelling in Spain Through Cross-Cultural Immersion 30 good times they have shared in “The Legend of Emperor Ashoka.” By Agatha Morrell
A Note on the Peach in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: In Honor of Richard Elia By Richard L. Elia; Edited and Introduced by John Tamilio III
I M A G E S 36" x 24", handmade paper painting, 2017
Nature’s Palette Paintings by Meg Black
Cathedral River Road by Meg Black
P O E T R Y Flames By Chris Richard
I N C L O S I N G Sextant’s First Issue
Inside back cover
On the front cover:
North Shore Scape (detail) by Meg Black, 20" x 20", handmade paper painting, 2007 I am inspired by the ocean—its fierceness, rhythm, smell, sound. As a native New Yorker who moved to New England at age 25, I am still enamored of the sea. It never gets old for me to look out at the water during all weather conditions and any season of the year. Many artists have depicted the same passion for the ocean in their work—Winslow Homer, J.M.W. Turner, Emily Carr. I have learned much from studying the way in which these artists painted the ocean, rarely as a calm entity and often as the force of nature that it truly is.
E S S A Y
“A Team That Carried Everything Before It”:
∑ The Lost History of the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem Chris Fauske
f all the records in the libraries of Salem, Massachusetts, among the oddest and perhaps one of the saddest is that created by Enrique Victor Emilio.
Captain Luis F. Emilio c. 1863-1865, Tintype Pamplin Historical Park and The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier Unknown photographer
Emilio was the son of Spanish immigrants. His father was a musician and composer of some significant local reputation, who had been heavily involved in abolitionist causes since his arrival in Salem.1 His older brother, Luis, played a remarkable role in the Civil War, lying about his age to enlist in the 23rd Massachusetts Regiment. In less than a year, he had earned the rank of sergeant. Then, at the end of 1862, he volunteered for a commission in the newlycreated 54th Regiment, Massachusetts 2
Volunteer Infantry, later the subject of the movie “Glory.” It was not, the regimental history of the 23rd recorded, a “popular service.” Indeed, only 66 suitable men from the entire U.S. Army—the officers were all white—demonstrated the “no little moral courage” it took to volunteer for the “‘nigger regiment.’”2 By May 1863, Luis was a captain. He took part in the momentous assault on Fort Wagner, during which all higher-ranking officers were either killed or wounded. At the age of 19, he became the acting commander of the regiment. Four years later, on May 4, 1867, at the age of 12— perhaps helped by his connections to his war-hero older brother—Enrique was one of seven junior associate members admitted when the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem was “re-constituted.” Quite what the club was re-constituted from is not clear.
Left: Captain Luis F. Emilio, older brother of Enrique Victor. Right: The gilded cricket ball won by the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem on July 4, 1866.
Reproduced by permission of the Peabody Essex Museum | Item number 104315
ne glimpse is provided by what is surely some of the most execrable poetry ever to have appeared in print, William Cook’s startling encomium “The Eudromia.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the only publication catalogued by the Library of Congress under “Cricket—Massachusetts—Poetry.” The poem memorializes October 1865 home matches between “the Newton Nonantum and Salem Alpha Cricket Clubs.” Below is a sample of Cook in full flow: Some were, as in past ages, Quite poor men, working hard For dearly earned pittance-wages, Heaven their hoped reward. Some were tall athletic fellows, Legs strong as straight cedars, Lungs to blow like Cyclops’ bellows, They played with good ardor. Some were sick, with lean pale faces, While friends were fleet as wind They crept only a few paces, Alone, far, far behind. Virgil, Milton and other poets Knocked the ball so hard That players cannot stop their bouts; So they get much regard. ……… The match was a good knock with the bat— Though a renowned hero Was made by the ball hors de combat He did great courage show.3
Ca rds cour tesy
Left: The 1881 business card of George Wright, advertising the sporting goods business that he operated with Henry A. Ditson. Wright is the only person to have had both a first-class cricket average and a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
of Ch ris Fauske
The year the Alpha Club toured into New York, Wright had left cricket to take up playing baseball with the first professional club, Cincinnati, most of whose players were experienced cricketers. Wright played cricket for Longwood and organized his own cricket teams into the second decade of the twentieth century. He played with various former members of the Alpha Club on numerous occasions. Ditson’s uncle was a Boston-based music publisher and certainly knew E.V. Emilio’s father and uncle, and likely Victor Emilio, too. Note the spelling of base ball in the card and the fact that cricket still had a prominent place among the sports listed. Right: The 1883 card. Note that cricket has moved down the list, but a bat is still prominently displayed, and a cricket ball is on the ground on the lower left.
Cook, the son of a ship captain, had a practical purpose in penning this paean to these heroes of the wicket: His sole biographer, Lawrence Jenkins, writes in 1924 that “unkind Nature” had failed to outfit this “gentle soul” with a “complete and well-balanced headpiece” .… To make ends meet (as the captain’s money seems to have run out), Cook tutored private students … and began writing [pamphlets] … printed— one page at a time—on a hand-press that he had built himself.4 In October 1865, Cook spotted a commercial opportunity and published a pamphlet about the Salem cricket team. His poetry might be as rudimentary as his block prints, but there is nothing that suggests anything about the game needed explaining to the citizens of Salem, nor is there anything to suggest that the writing of such an encomium should in any way have surprised its residents.
nother hint about the earlier club’s activities is a gilded cricket ball held by the Peabody Essex Museum, inscribed: “Won from the Dorchester Club of Dorchester by the Alpha Club of Salem Match played at Salem, July 4, 1866.” The prize was donated to the Essex Institute in 1912 by Mrs. Walter F. Peck, while the Peabody Essex archives record the gift as being received in 1914.5 That Walter Peck came into possession of the ball although he did not play in the match is fitting. He was the son of Freeman S. Peck, a tailor who owned a clothing and furniture store at 240 Essex Street, where Walter was recorded on several occasions as working as a “clerk” or “salesman.”6 Peck’s socio-economic background and later civic career mirrored that of many members of the club. Peck had joined the Second Corps of Cadets on November 20, 1873 as a private, earning promotion through the ranks until being commissioned as a second lieutenant on May 14, 1883. By 1886 he was still listed as “boarding” at his parent’s house at 133 Essex Street, but he had left the family business and was now the “weighmaster, Phila. & Reading Coal and Iron Co.” 7 He was also a city-appointed “weigher of coal,” no small matter when coal was the city’s primary fuel source. A military commission, a managerial position at the wharves, and a city job meant Peck was on his way up the social ladder. By 1900 he was a lieutenant colonel in the Corps and commanded the unit as it helped celebrate Topsfield’s 250th anniversary.8
Peck was one of the seven “junior associates” at the time of the club’s re-founding, and he must have maintained links with the members long enough for one of them to consider him a suitable recipient of the keepsake of the Dorchester match. However, the cricket club had been but one avenue he had pursued in search of his ambition. He was far from alone in that attitude.
Courtesy of Salem Sta
te Un iversit y Archi
ther than that gilded ball, no Salem-connected artifact of the game made its way to the Salem museums except for what is perhaps the most remarkable item of this story, cataloged upon its receipt by the Essex Library as the “Record Book of Alpha Cricket Club, 1865-78.”
The first president of the re-formed club was John M. Hagar, son of Daniel B. Hagar, principal (1865-1896) of the Salem Normal School, forerunner of Salem State University. Hagar was president only from May to November of the club’s inaugural year. In 1870, he was still living in Salem and was one of various “managers of the hop” of the fair organized by the Essex Institute and Salem Oratorio Society to promote the addition of the “fine arts” to the Institute’s mission. Several other members of the cricket club joined him in organizing the dance.9 Soon thereafter, he disappeared from Salem records before Right, from top: Salem Normal School President Daniel B. Hagar, father of the first president of the re-constituted Alpha Cricket Club; the list of members of the junior association, which includes Emilio’s signature in the second spot (note that he has reversed his given names); the page that concludes Emilio’s reconstruction of the club history; the faux-leather cover of the reorganized club’s record book.
Images of the Alpha Club record book reproduced by permission of the Peabody Essex Museum Phillips Library
The book succinctly captures both the hopes and the obstacles that accompanied the project. The evidence is gathered in an ordinary account book sold by Thomas Groom and Co. of 82 State Street, in the heart of Boston’s commercial district. What sets this one apart is that it was then enhanced with a faux-leather cover on which was embossed in gold lettering “Alpha Cricket Club. Reorganized May 4, 1867. Constitution & By Laws.” The constitution’s preamble records the purpose for re-founding the club: the “perpetuation of the favorite game for promoting their physical condition and the elevation of their social sphere.” The cricket itself was subsidiary to the outcome, the improvement of the members’ physical and social status.
of Salem,” nna Seger, “St reets -common lem Common” by Do em Reproduced from “Sa//streetsofsalem.com/2012/10/28/sal htt ps:
Baseball on the Salem Common. Photographer and date unknown, but at a period not too far past or perhaps identical to that of the Alpha Club. The batter is standing near where one end of the cricket pitch must have been, based on comments in the record book.
re-appearing in Chicago, where by 1904 he and his wife, Mary Frances Tucker, a Salem Normal School graduate, are listed in the Chicago Blue Book, a social register of prominent Chicagoans. There, he is listed as a member of the Union League Club, very much in keeping with the political and social ethos of Salem, the Essex Institute, and the spirit of the cricket club he had briefly headed.10
club, the Amaticus team otherwise leaves the historical scorebook untroubled. But the name, with its hint of a Latin root suggesting love and friendship, indicates a broader ambition. The club was likely drawn from players of the Winnisimmet Club of Chelsea, then the pride of northern Massachusetts cricket. That club included James Phillips Farley, captain of the 1867 Harvard College cricket club, and Henry Fay, an MIT graduate and soon-tobe copper magnate. Both Fay and Farley played for Amaticus, which would seem not so much a scratch side as one designed to help the Alpha Club with its onand off-the-field ambitions. Collins had memorialized two other 1867 matches played in Salem—on July 17 in Newton against the Nonantum Club, and on August 14 on the Salem Common against a second XI of Chelsea.11 This suggests that, friendship aside, the Chelsea men did not feel the Salem club worthy of fielding a full-strength side against. Salem defeated Nonantum handily. The result of the Chelsea match is not known.
One odd note about 1867: The club had actually opened its season on April 4, playing a cricket match against the Creighton Base Ball Club of Salem. This may itself have been a successor of the Monitor Base Ball Club, which riginally, the record book contained only the the cricket club had played twice in 1865. The latter club constitution, by-laws, rules of order, and a list was likely named after the Union battleship; the former of members. And it would have stopped there, might have been named after forgotten, except that—like Jim Creighton, baseball’s the gilded cricket ball—it 1869 was the year it must have seemed to first star, who bled to death came at some stage into internal injuries likely the hands of someone who the members that their ambitions were on of sustained during a match in must have loved the game 1860.12 Baseball and cricket and the club. For sixty-plus the verge of being achieved: In July, the were not rivals, at least not years after the re-founding, club undertook a tour of New York and in Salem, and some of the Enrique Victor Emilio Creighton players were also examined every record of Philadelphia—the one city in America members of the Alpha Club every club match that he where cricket really was king—thanks in the next month when it recould find in the three Salem formed. newspapers of the period: part to the avid support of Gen. George The Gazette, The Observer, was the year it must and The Register. And he Meade, victor of Gettysburg, Philadelphia have1869 seemed to the members transcribed all those records that their ambitions were on native, and cricket enthusiast. and a few observations from the verge of being achieved: memory into the old book. In July, the club undertook The re-constituted club’s choice of date and opponent a tour of New York and Philadelphia—the one city in for its first match is full of after-the-fact poignancy. America where cricket really was king—thanks in part On July 4, 1867, on Salem Common, the Alpha Club to the avid support of Gen. George Meade, victor of entertained Amaticus of Chelsea. As with the Dorchester Gettysburg, Philadelphia native, and cricket enthusiast.
The gulf between hope and reality can be seen not only in the tour results but also in the timing, for had the players visited New York in 1868 they would likely have faced George Wright, the only man to have played firstclass cricket and to be a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. But in 1869, Wright had moved to Cincinnati to become the highest-paid professional in baseball’s first major league. The Salem club went 0-4 in New York, including a loss to a New York select side drawn from the city’s various clubs. These match box scores are transcribed in the record book. But then, perhaps understandably, our chronicler gives up in apparent despair and simply notes that there followed on July 12 and 13 matches against the Philadelphia clubs Young America and Germantown. No details of any sort are provided, but both were most likely routs of spectacular proportion.
In September, Salem hosted a visiting Montreal side, scratching out a win in a low-scoring affair. The Montreal club went on to Boston and then New York, where the pre- and post-match receptions would have offered far more opportunity to develop business and commercial contacts. This was the only time Salem hosted a visiting Canadian side, despite the fact that such tours were at that time quite common. It was unlikely to have been the club’s cricket prowess that secured it a match, but rather its location and the city’s reputation as a commercial center, fading though it might have been in 1874.
It was, in fact, the second time that cricket had been banned on the Common. On July 26, 1762, the selectmen of Salem had voted that “no Person shall use the Exercise of playing or Kicking of Foot-ball, or the Exercise of Bat-and-Ball, or Cricket … within the Body of this Town, under a Penalty of One Shilling and Six Pence.”
ne aspect of the New York-Philadelphia tour is that in the list of club members who went south, the last name comes with a telling parenthetical addition: “O’Brien (professional).” Here, Emilio displays something of the class distinctions that would mark English cricket until the end of the 1960s— fastidious attention to the difference between the amateur “gentlemen” and the professional “players.” That the members of the Salem club were almost all themselves middle- class, and many towards the lower end of that scale, did not prevent them employing a professional or two and distinguishing themselves from them in the record books. Yet, to include a professional on the tour represented a significant cost and suggests club members were aware of the gulf between their play and that in New York and, in particular, Philadelphia.
Quite what happened the next year is a mystery— as so much of this story seems to be—but the club employed two professionals in 1876. One was Alfred Eastwood, who had played in 1868 for the 22 of America and for the 22 of Boston, both captained by George Wright, against the first English side to tour North America, E. Willsher’s XI. The other was Dennis Mahoney, back for a third year. Between them, the two men essentially routed the Blue Stars of Lowell on May 30.
t the 1874 annual general meeting, Enrique Victor Emilio, then 18, was elected as a director, further evidence of the increasing challenge of keeping the club running. Nonetheless, that year the club again played at least five matches, including a home match against St. George’s. Hosting the oldest of New York’s established clubs on the Common on July 4 was the club’s statement that cricket was still very much a meaningful social and sporting option in Salem.
Cour tesy of Chris Fauske
Matters would seem to have stabilized in 1875. However, there are hints in the record book of a deceptive calm, and no match was played on July 4.
Salem Common circa 1906. The reason for the awning is unknown. This type of tented enclosure is representative of the way ticketed cricket matches of the period were set up if public spaces were being used. The Alpha Club never undertook such a venture, but it is likely some of its founders had seen such a set up in Chelsea or Newton or Dracut (the “Dracut Oval” traffic circle sits on the site of the former Dracut Oval cricket pitch).
On July 4, 1876, Salem comprehensively demolished the Albion Club of Boston—long past its prime but still desperately hanging on to its pretensions about the essential “Englishness” of the game. Perhaps it is telling that Salem had not arranged a match against one of the stronger local clubs—the Chelsea side was still flourishing—or perhaps the local club had hoped to make a point in inviting a relic of the old traditions to be routed on America’s national day. This second supposition certainly makes sense given what happened next, which everyone involved must have known was coming.
It was, in fact, the second time that cricket had been banned on the Common. On July 26, 1762, the selectmen of Salem had voted that “no Person shall use the Exercise of playing or Kicking of Foot-ball, or the Exercise of Bat-and-Ball, or Cricket … within the Body of this Town, under a Penalty of One Shilling and Six Pence.”13
nd this is the great tragedy and sense of heartsickness that pervades the book: All of the accounts summarized above fill less than a fifth of the pages. Below that last entry, flush right in impeccable hand, in pencil, are these two lines, “Salem, June 20, 1935|E. Victor Emilio.” He was then two days shy of his 80th birthday. Emilio never played a recorded cricket match after the Salem club folded, yet he remembered for many, many years the club that Will Roffe, the Boston Daily Globe’s cricket reporter, would later recall, apparently wildly inaccurately, as “a team that for many years … carried everything before it.”14
The 1879 Longwood Cricket Club First XI, which absorbed the best of the Alpha Club’s players.
In its death and memorialization, as in its life, the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem epitomized the gulf between the reality and the dreams that had moved its players to pick up bat and ball in the first place.
Photograph courtesy of the Longwood Cricket Club
The now homeless and demoralized Salem club eked out two final matches: a second XI match against a Longwood second XI later in 1877 and a final match at Longwood the next year, on June 5, 1878. Fittingly, no scorecard survives, and all we know is that Salem won.
Photograph courtesy of the Longwood Cricket Club
Six weeks later, on Monday, August 21, the next recorded gathering of the cricketers of Salem was to witness a challenge to an ordinance passed by the city council forbidding ball games on the Common, where demands on the space had grown apace with the city’s population. At the appointed time, Mahoney stepped forward and “was fined $1.00 for throwing a cricket ball on Salem Common. The test case of [an] order forbidding Base Ball or Cricket playing on the Common.” The club members paid his fine when the court upheld the legality of the ban.
he season was over. So, too, was the club, with only the last rites remaining. On July 4, 1877, the Alpha Club played its only game of that year, in Boston as the second opponent of the newly formed Longwood Cricket Club. Several of the Salem players immediately start showing up on Longwood’s scorecards.
Cricket at the Longwood Cricket Club’s original grounds on the Sears Estate in the heart of the Fenway. The photo was probably taken in 1889 or 1890.
Cour tesy of Chris Fauske
6 See, for example, Meek, H.M. (1882), compiler. The Naumkeag District Directory for Salem, Beverly, Danvers, Marblehead, Peabody: Containing a List of the Inhabitants and Business Firms of the District and Other Matters of General and Local Interest, 1882-1883. (Salem: Henry M. Meek & Francis A. Fielden, at the Salem Observer office.) Incidentally, Henry M. Meek was a regular member of the Alpha Club team. 7 The Salem Directory 1886. Containing a Directory of the Citizens, Street Directory, the City Record and Business Directory with Map. Also, Directories for the Towns of Beverly, Peabody, Danvers, and Marblehead. (Boston: Sampson, Murdock, 1886.)
By 1881, Victor Emilio was established as a music teacher and piano and organ salesman. This invoice is for Frank Reed Kimball. The Kimballs were one of the most prominent of Salem’s families.
8 Proceedings at the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town of Topsfield, Mass., August 16-17, 1900, With a History of Toppesfield Parish, Essex County (Topsfield: by the Anniversary Committee, 1900).
Enrique Victor Emilio, the son of Spanish immigrants, the younger brother of a Civil War hero, a man who made his living selling pianos and teaching music in Salem, married well and had a son who would grow up to be one of New England’s leading ornithologists. Perhaps, like Walter F. Peck and John M. Hagar, he had never needed the club after all. But he had loved the game enough to spend his late 70s trying to preserve what records he could of matches that had almost, but not quite, faded from history. And I wonder if, when he gave the record book to the Essex Institute, he knew it would find its final home nearby the gilded cricket ball that once heralded a future that would never be.
9 “The Fair.” [Prefatory note] (1870). To-day: A Paper Printed During the Fair of the Essex Institute and Oratorio Society, at Salem, Mass., from October 31 to November 4, 1870. np [p.iii]. 10 The Chicago Blue Book of Selected Names of Chicago and Suburban Towns. Containing the Names and Addresses of Prominent Residents, Arranged Alphabetically and Numerically by Streets; also Ladies’ Shopping Guide, Street Directory, and other Valuable Information. For the Year Ending 1904. Chicago: Chicago Directory Company. 11 Cricket teams are referred to as “elevens” (the number of players on a regulation-strength side). This is rendered using the Roman numerals XI. A club that can field more than one side will field a first XI, which is its strongest side, a second XI (its next strongest side), and so on. Teams that were selected and managed by a particular person were, and are, named for that person, as with E. Willsher’s XI referred to in this story. Willsher’s was the first side raised in England to tour the United States. It was strong enough that most of its American opponents fielded sides of 18 or 22 in an attempt to provide a competitive match. 12 Miklich, E. (2016). “Jim Creighton (1841–1862).” 19cbaseball.com. http://www.19cbaseball.com/players-jim-creighton.html. Accessed Dec. 20, 2017. 13 “By-Laws and orders of the Town of Salem, of the 26th of July, A.D. 1762 … Chapter II. For preventing damage by foot-ball, &c.” Essex Gazette (Salem, Mass.). Dec. 6-13, 1768 (Vol. 1, No. 20), p. 81, cols. 2-3. Why it took so long for the order to be published, or why the selectmen asked for it to be republished, is unknown. The December publication is not necessarily so mysterious, as the order also prohibits the throwing of snowballs in public places. 14 Roffe, W. (June 1891). “Cricket in New England and the Longwood Club.” Outing: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine of Sport, Adventure, Travel, Fiction. (XVIII: 2), pp. 251-4.
ENDNOTES Quotations not cited are from the “Record Book of the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem.” 1 For more on Manuel Emilio, see Luis Emilio, “A Memoir of Manuel Emilio, 1812-1871.” Typescript, 94 pp. MSS 30. Peabody Essex Library, Rowley. Among Emilio’s compositions was “Little Eva’s Song: Uncle Tom’s Guardian Angel,” Boston: John P. Jewett, 1852. Words by John Greenleaf Whittier. 2 Emmerton, J. A. (1886). A Record of the Twenty-third Regiment Mass. Vol. Infantry in the War of the Rebellion 1861-1865. With Alphabetical Roster; Company Rolls; Portraits; Maps; Etc. Boston: Ware, p. 140. 3 Cook, W. (1866). “The Eudromia. By Rev. William Cook, A.B. author of The firemen’s liturgy, Potsandove. The result, The bank, The fragments, The Neriah and The Eucleia.” Salem: Printed by William Cook, pp. 5-6.
The author acknowledges the receipt of a 2016 Salem State University School of Graduate Studies mini-grant to support research on the Alpha Cricket Club of Salem.
4 Seeger, D. (2015). “The Reverend Billy Cook, Salem’s SelfPublished Poet.” Streets of Salem. https://streetsofsalem. com/2015/08/19/the-reverend-billy-cook-salems-self-publishedpoet/. Aug. 19, 2015. Accessed Dec. 15, 2017.
Salem State University
5 For the 1912 date, see the record in The Annual Report of the Essex Institute for the Year Ending May 6, 1912. Salem, Mass., 1912: Printed for the Essex Institute. For the 1914 date: “The ball you referenced is 104315. It is about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and the catalog card I referenced stated the ball was given on 4/6/1914,” Eric Wolin, Head of Collection Management, Peabody Essex Museum (PEM). Personal correspondence with the author. Aug. 23, 2016. The Essex Institute merged with the Peabody Museum of Salem in 1992 to create the PEM.
Chris Fauske is a professor of communications at Salem State University. Growing up, he hoped to ski for Norway and to play cricket for England. He was good enough to have no chance of skiing for Britain or of playing cricket for Norway. One of his most recent published articles was on Sint Maarten-born Dutch international cricketer Shaquille O’Neal Martina.
E S S A Y
Mindsets Matter in Education Cheryl A.Williams
n the summer of 1997, having graduated with a The Tortoise and the Hare master’s degree and being newly licensed as a nurse usan, a young 18-year-old Caucasian nursing practitioner, I remember driving home reflecting student, leaned over her desk in Nursing upon the blue-and-white Simmons College sticker Fundamentals class to ask Richard if he was ready prominently displayed in my 1980 Honda Civic rearfor the big exam in two days. Susan smiled, crossed her view mirror. I pondered, “Well, with school behind me arms and then pointed to her head and said: “Yup. I got now, what will I do next?” An epiphany came over me, it; it’s all in here, memorized it all. I am certain I will and I slowly began to realize that I could finally do what get an A, as I always do.” I’ve wanted to do all my life: teach. The following is a teacher’s contemporary allegory Richard, an older black male about learning—a modern-day (he had been a banker for the last Dweck’s mindset model is based six years) looked at Susan out tortoise-and-hare lesson. of the corners of his eyes with a For the next few years, I on individuals’ perceptions of downward glance and mumbled: pursued a career in nursing intelligence. How one perceives “Yeah, I think I got it, but I need education. As a teacher, I became to study harder for the next few concerned that I could not intelligence influences his or days just to be sure. I like to try successfully reach all students. new strategies of studying so I can her approaches to learning and So in 2009, I returned to school learn more, and once I think I got to learn how to teach more motivations—in essence, how it, I try to go further. The effort efficiently. While pursuing is exhausting, but I think I have a my PhD in Health Professions one determines competency. grasp of it.” Education from Simmons College, I discovered the work of Carol Susan, now standing in front Dweck and the growth-mindset of Richard, asked in a loud voice meant to be heard by model. The power of this model lies in its ability to others: “Why do you do all of that work? You either get realign students’ thinking and strategies for learning. it or you don’t. For instance, I read last night’s chapter However, the model’s real strength shows in its in one hour. My mom says I must be smart because I can applicability to non-traditional students, who stand read so fast; it takes me absolutely no effort. I am sure I to gain the most academically. will become a great nurse someday.” Non-traditional students (minority groups, including On the day of the exam, Susan did not do as well as first-generation students) face increased risk of failure.1 she expected, earning a B. She told her friends she aced I was a first-generation student—no one in my family the exam, since they all believed (as did her mom) that had ever gone to college—yet I succeeded. I wanted she was smart and had a reputation to uphold. Richard similar success for all my students. Within nursing, a also earned a B on the exam. He promptly made an non-traditional student is anyone who is not Caucasian, appointment with the teacher to review the exam. female, and younger than 25 years old, since these are Susan, not admitting failure, did not seek remediation; the general demographics of nursing students she was therefore likely to repeat earlier mistakes. today. Today, more non-traditional students Five years later, Richard and Susan met while are enrolling in nursing school, creating working at a local hospital. Enrolled in a nurse the urgent need for effective teaching and externship, Richard was required to work and learn learning models aptly suited for their about different areas within the hospital. After one year diversified needs.2 Dweck’s growthof rotations, he could decide which unit might be the mindset model offers the opportunity best match for his skills and abilities. He was enjoying for all individuals to gain academically. his new graduate role. “I have so much yet to learn; this However, the greatest benefits is so exciting,” he remarked. were seen in those students who were often disadvantaged and Susan, however, reported that she had a lot of trouble deemed high-risk to fail. adjusting to her new role as a graduate nurse. “I did not Therefore, the growththink I had to learn so much more after nursing school,” mindset model serves as she lamented. “It’s crazy; they keep sending us to classes, an exemplar for faculty, and if you do not complete the classes you can lose your students, staff, and all job. My nurse manager says my potential to grow is individuals in their pursuit limited because I do not try new things, and she worries of lifelong learning. if I will make it through my first year.”
Dweck’s Fixed and Growth Mindsets
strategies and subsequently developing a deeper sense of learning over time. Susan’s major focus is the display of competency through the immediacy of knowing. Richard is much more concerned with his development of learning over time, and he believes that effort and adversity are the tools needed for lifelong learning and professional development. His comments about the exhaustive approaches are testimony to his neuroplasticity properties associated with deep learning.
weck’s mindset model is based on individuals’ perceptions of intelligence. How one perceives intelligence influences one’s approaches to learning and motivations—in essence, how one determines competency. Dweck found that people perceive intelligence in one of two ways. First, 40 percent of individuals view intelligence as innate and limited (a fixed mindset), and no amount of effort will change it. Growth-Mindset Model and Smartness comes either quickly or not at all; effort means the person is not intelligent.3 Above all, people with Academic Success fixed mindsets fear failure, along with the subsequent displays of incompetency. These fears limit learning he growth-mindset model provides success in since they result in disengagement, self-handicapping, basic educational skills such as math, reading, embellishment of scores, avoidance of remediation, and writing. In a study of 250,000 Khan Academy anxiety, and depression.4 Fixed-mindset individuals tend students, Dave Paunesku demonstrated that simply to concern themselves with proving their intelligence streaming growth-mindset messages across students’ rather than improving it. The displays of a fixed-mindset personalized dashboards increased mastery of fractions.6 person must be swift, purposeful, and apparently David Miele and Daniel Molden found that the growtheffortless. Put another way, fixed-mindset learners mindset model increased undergraduate students’ are more concerned with the display reading comprehension. However, of competency rather than the longfixed-mindset readers seemed to back Fixed-mindset learners are term development of competency. off when the reading became more difficult.7 Similarly, with writing, more concerned with the On the other hand, 40 percent of when students perceived writing individuals perceive intelligence as display of competency as a malleable skill that could be being quite malleable through effort improved upon with persistence, they rather than the long-term and perseverance (growth mindset). were more engaged in their writing Neuroplasticity (molding the brain development of competency. exercises, and the quality of their through learning) increases neural writing improved.8 tissue and speeds communication
(recall) among neurons. Effort and exhaustion are signs of increased neural (brain networks) growth. Growthmindset individuals welcome failure and seek out adversity, which serves as the ignition for neuroplasticity through hard work and effort towards the development of competency over time.5
In the two student case studies described earlier, Susan’s is an exemplary fixed mindset, while Richard’s is a typical growth mindset. Susan prides herself on quick, effortless approaches to learning, with much reliance upon surface learning (memorization and “pass the test” tactics). Richard, on the other hand, exemplifies a rigorous, effortful approach to learning, trying new
Endorsement of the growth-mindset model has been linked with increased deep learning and fostering higher critical-thinking skills. Fixed-mindset individuals tend to stick with what they know and rarely extend themselves to achieve deeper learning, while growth-mindset individuals welcome adversity and challenge.9 Growthmindset engineering students were more likely to engage in knowledge-building behaviors, participate in active learning strategies, and collaborate—behaviors that led to a deeper sense of learning than their fixed-mindset counterparts.10
In a meta-analysis, students who perceived intelligence to be malleable were more likely to develop selfregulating processes such as setting goals, developing self-instructive methods, and self-monitoring their skills.11 Conventional wisdom holds that self-regulation (one of the highest forms of critical thinking) combined with a disposition to challenge oneself should lead a student to become a self-directed, autonomous lifelong learner. In our student case example, Richard clearly exemplified these behaviors, eventually resulting in his richer first-year experience post-graduation and development of lifelong learning.
Growth-Mindset Individuals are Resilient and Adaptive
those more effective strategies. It was as if the process of remediation in the growth-mindset group restored their confidence and eventual competence development.13 In other words, growth-mindset individuals gave themselves an opportunity to remediate, while the fixed-mindset o prepare individuals for the uncertainties of individuals did not. Reasons for these behaviors may their personal, professional, and academic lives, become clearer with better-improved neuro-diagnostics. learners must become resilient and adaptive. Remediation fosters resiliency, Newer neuro-diagnostic tools and it would appear that growthhave allowed for more portability Growth-mindset individuals mindset individuals are more and access to studying remedial likely to choose more effective gave themselves an opportunity processes in humans in real time. remedial strategies.12 To illustrate Heightened electrical processing to remediate, while the fixedthe effects of remediation and was seen more intently in areas of mindsets, A. David Nussbaum and the brain associated with emotions mindset individuals did not. Dweck conducted an experiment (such as anxiety and self-doubt) in wherein 20-30 undergraduates fixed-mindset people, and less in the received negative feedback about frontal area related to cognitive processing (needed for performance scores. Students were then allowed to see remediation) as with growth mindsets.14 Fixed-mindset the results of past student scores and strategies. As many individuals take feedback more negatively. One study as 40 percent of the fixed-mindset individuals reacted demonstrated that long-term learning processes (deep defensively, became emotional, and refused to remediate. learning) were diminished in the face of such heightened The fixed-mindset group, in an attempt to gain some emotions, leading to a less sustained memory activity composure and confidence, concerned themselves with for remediation within fixed-mindset individuals.15 comparing themselves to those individuals who scored Dweck has repeatedly demonstrated that fixed-mindset lower than themselves. This “downward” comparison kept individuals see themselves as finished products and them from benefiting from the more effective strategies are not as likely to remediate as their growth-mindset of higher performers. As for the growth-mindset students counterparts.16 These behaviors may seem to placate (in as many as 90 percent of the cases), they looked fixed-mindset individuals in the short term but may “upward” to see who scored better and then studied prove risky and threaten long-term development.
Growth mindsets, as with Richard’s, concern not exposed to the growth-mindset message exhibited themselves with improving rather than proving themselves the customary decline in math scores. Moreover, the through remediation. As in the case described earlier, teachers, blinded to the randomization, reported a Richard did go to the teacher’s office (even with a noticeable improvement in 25 percent of their students’ B) to find out what he got wrong; he remediated. scholastic outlook as compared with only 9 percent of He developed competency through assessment of his those in the control group. Lastly, the academic outlook mistakes and developed new strategies for success. Susan, and increases in math grades were reported two years fearing failure and incompetence, became defensive, following the intervention. embellished her score, and refused to seek assistance Academic success for to learn from her mistakes. non-traditional and at-risk Seeking normative appraisal, students was examined at One of the most significant features she looked around the the University of Texas classroom to find the students of the growth-mindset model is at Austin (UTA), where whom she outperformed, one of the first large-scale that, while many students may do a strategy that seemed to attempts to implement the soothe her fears. By not growth-mindset model was better academically, the at-risk remediating, she became less undertaken. Paul Tough, resilient and was destined (marginalized, resource-poor, and author of the book How to repeat mistakes and risk non-traditional) students who endorse Children Succeed, described failure in the future, as she the effects of the collegeexpressed her frustrations the growth-mindset model often wide growth-mindset while acclimating to her new integration.18 All 7,500 exhibit the largest academic gains. nursing role. incoming UTA freshmen were followed for the first year. Historically, only 81 Growth Mindsets and percent of non-traditional students completed the full 12-credit course load successfully, while 90 percent of Non-traditional Students traditional UTA students did. The researchers wanted to see if the growth-mindset integration could increase ne of the most significant features of the the number of non-traditional students completing growth-mindset model is that, while many a full course load over their first semester. Students students may do better academically, the atwere randomized into four groups where they were risk (marginalized, resource-poor, and non-traditional) asked to 1) read letters written by UTA upperclassmen students who endorse the growth-mindset model often describing the adjustment to college life, and 2) attend exhibit the largest academic gains. In a seminal study, a growth-mindset workshop where they learned about Lisa Blackwell, Kali Trzesniewski, and Dweck studied the malleability of the brain. The remaining two groups 300 eighth-grade math students from a large urban were given a combination intervention where they were public school over a two-year period.17 The students asked to either 3) read the UTA upperclassmen letters were a diverse sample. Math courses were targeted, concerning adjustment to college life but also stressing since they represented the most challenging studies, the importance of developing a sense of belonging to the as evidenced by the perennial decline in math grades college scene, or 4) attend a growth-mindset workshop during the tumultuous transition to junior high school. in which the sense of belonging was also emphasized. In this study, the junior high school students were randomized to attend either an intervention group or As was expected, 90 percent of the traditional UTA a control group. In the intervention group, students freshmen went on to complete the full load successfully, attended a growth-mindset workshop detailing how regardless of which message they heard. However, intelligence can be gained through effort and persistence. among non-traditional students, there was a definite The control group heard no mention of the growthadvantage to understanding the combination of mindset model and focused on the development of belonging on campus and receiving a growth-mindset traditional study skills. Blackwell et al. showed that message (option number four). A total of 86 percent of the students who initially held a fixed-mindset view of the disadvantaged students who heard the combination intelligence—once they were exposed to and adopted message went on to complete the full credit load the growth-mindset message—achieved the highest successfully, while only 82 percent of their nongains in math scores and outperformed their colleagues, traditional counterparts did so. Clearly, Richard, being reversing the historical decline in math grades. Students a non-traditional nursing student, would have benefitted
academically from hearing the growth-mindset message as well as developing a sense of belonging in nursing education. Models that stress belonging and the malleability of intelligence have been shown to improve grades, outlooks, engagement with tasks, and higher levels of critical thinking and learning. These models are sorely needed, as the numbers of students like Richard who are attending college rise.
Salem State University, as a public institution, draws many nontraditional students. Firstgeneration students often express a sense of social class inferiority and tend to exhibit characteristics similar to fixed mindsets with fear of failure, fixedor limitedintelligence beliefs, and low-competency beliefs.21 To date, the 2016 study of undergraduate nursing students at Salem State was the first study that examined mindset endorsement among first-generation students. In this study, 35 percent of the nursing undergraduates were the first in their family to attend college. National data for the prevalence of first-generation college students, by comparison, is hindered by differing and widely Mindsets Within Teachers varied definitions. However, in 2010, the Pell Institute reported that first-generation students constituted 5-8 and Salem State University percent of the population of students in health sciences nationally.22 Our sample clearly had a higher prevalence iven the accolades of this than previous studies, making an endorsement for model, I am committed as a the growth-mindset model even more compelling for nurse educator and researcher to measuring their success. Fortunately, of the 35 percent of firstthe prevalence of fixed and growth mindsets.19 generation students, 81 percent Earlier work has shown that in considered themselves to have a national study of 277 nursing faculty, nearly 40 percent of Models that stress belonging and growth mindsets, compared to 71 percent of students who were not faculty did not unequivocally the malleability of intelligence first-generation growth-mindset endorse the growth-mindset 20 students. model. A year later, in a yethave been shown to improve to-be-published study, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with Why our Salem State data grades, outlooks, engagement assistance from two Salem State showed a higher level of growth graduate nursing education mindsets is unclear, since previous with tasks, and higher levels of studentsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;determined the research found that many firstprevalence of fixed and growth generation students exhibit critical thinking and learning. mindsets among Salem State characteristics similar to the fixednursing students. The study had mindset model.23 Furthermore, a low response rate (17 percent), which limited results. 30 percent of Salem State students declared being nonHowever, the prevalence of growth mindsets was high traditional nursing students (i.e., older than 25 years of (75 percent). Whether many more growth-mindset age and non-Caucasian female). This was also consistent students completed the survey than their fixed-mindset with the National League for Nurses (NLN) findings of counterparts (i.e. fixed mindsets not choosing to 30 percent of all nursing students being from minority participate) remains unclear. However, we did find backgrounds.24 Of the 30 percent non-traditional that one in four students did not openly endorse the students, many (81 percent) endorsed the growth-mindset perception of intelligence malleability, which (as we model, compared to 72 percent of their traditional have seen) could limit learning and the development counterpartsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;again serving as a positive academic of competency. model.
he growth-mindset model is based on individuals’ perceptions that effort, hard work, and persistence can lead to increases in intelligence and academic success. Perceptions that intelligence is fixed and immutable seem to foster a fear of failure, a lack of motivation to remediate, embellishment of competency, and anxiety and depression, often fueling disengagement and limited learning. In this tale, Susan was the hare: Learning had to be quick and efficient, and accomplished with minimal effort. Effort implied that she was not smart as judged by her colleagues. The display of competency did not offer Susan the tools she needed upon graduation. As her memory decayed, she was left with less knowledge, little motivation to learn new things, and less resiliency. Richard, as the tortoise, perceived intelligence as being within his control, powered by a combination of time, effort, and adoption of innovative strategies for learning. The adoption of the growth-mindset model afforded Richard the resilience and adaptiveness through which he successfully developed competency over time. Finally, prominent philanthropies such as the Raikes and Gates foundations and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching are studying the scholastic benefits of the growth-mindset model in other educational areas, especially as it relates to K-12 mathematics as well as undergraduate college courses across content/ curricula. Post-secondary institutions such as Stanford University, Tufts University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Indiana State University have integrated the growth-mindset model into their curricula, and my fellow researchers and I await their research findings. In the meantime, it is my mission to integrate the model with nursing students at Salem State, study the effects, and, as this article has done, disseminate the results for all individuals in the pursuit of lifelong learning. ENDNOTES 1 Jury, M., Smeding, A., & Darnon, C. (2015). “First-generation students’ underperformance at university: the impact of the function of selection.” Frontiers in Psychology, 61-11. doi:10.3389/ fpsyg.2015.00710. 2 National League for Nursing. (2016). “Achieving diversity and meaningful inclusion in nursing education.” New York, NY.
4 Dweck. 5 Dweck. 6 Paunesku, D. (2013). Scaled-up social psychology: Intervening wisely and broadly in education. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation.) Stanford University, CA. Retrieved from: https://web.stanford. edu/~paunesku/paunesku_2013.pdf.
Courtesy of Cheryl Williams
3 Dweck, C.S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success: How we can learn to fulfill our potential. New York, N.Y.: Ballantine Books.
7 Miele, D.B., & Molden, D.C. (2010). “Naive theories of intelligence and the role of processing fluency in perceived comprehension.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(3), 535-557. doi:10.1037/a0019745. 8 Limpo, T., & Alves, R.A. (2014). “Implicit theories of writing and their impact on students’ response to a SRSD intervention.” British Journal of Educational Psychology, 84(4), 571-590. doi:10.1111/ bjep.12042. 9 Lee, Y., Heeter, C., Magerko, B., & Medler, B. (2012). “Gaming mindsets: Implicit theories in serious game learning.” Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 15(4), 190-194. doi:10.1089/cyber.2011.0328. And Romero, C., Master, A., Paunesku, D., Dweck, C.S., & Gross, J.J. (2014). “Academic and emotional functioning in middle school: The role of implicit theories.” Emotion, 14(2), 227-234. Doi:10.1037/a0035490. 10 Stump, G.S. & Husman, J., & Corby, M. (2014). “Engineering students’ intelligence beliefs and learning.” Journal of Engineering Education, 10(3)., 369-387. Doi: 10.1002/jee.20051. 11 Burnette, J.L., O’Boyle, E.H., VanEpps, E.M., Pollack, J.M., & Finkel, E.J. (2013). “Mind-sets matter: a meta-analytic review of implicit theories and self-regulation.” Psychological Bulletin, (3), 655. 12 Dweck. 13 Nussbaum, A., & Dweck, C. (2008). “Defensiveness versus remediation: self-theories and modes of self-esteem maintenance.” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(5), 599-612. doi: 10.1177/0146167207312960. 14 Mangels, J.A., Butterfield, B., Lamb, J., Good, C., & Dweck, C.S. (2006). “Why do beliefs about intelligence influence learning success? A social cognitive neuroscience model.” Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 1(2), 75-86. doi:10.1093/scan/nsl01. 15 Mangels et al. 16 Dweck. 17 Blackwell, L.S., Trzesniewski, K.H., & Dweck, C. (2007). “Implicit theories of intelligence predict achievement across an adolescent transition: A longitudinal study and an intervention.” Child Development, 78(1), 246-263. doi: 10.1111/j.14678624.2007.00995.x. 18 Tough, P. (2014). “Who gets to graduate?” New York Times Magazine, 26. Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/ 2014/05/18/magazine/who-gets-to-graduate.html. 19 Williams, C. (2017). “Mindsets may matter in nursing education.” Accepted for publication in Nursing Education Perspectives. 20 Williams, C. (2015). “The prevalence of fixed and growth mindsets in nursing faculty.” (Unpublished doctoral dissertation.) Simmons College, Boston, MA. 21 Jury, Smeding, & Darnon. 22 Williams, 2017. 23 Jury, Smeding, & Darnon. 24 National League for Nursing.
Cheryl A. Williams, PhD, RN, CNE, NP-C, is an assistant professor of nursing at Salem State University. She earned a doctorate in Health Professions Education from Simmons College and is a nationally certified educator who teaches nursing education. She studies the integration of the growth-mindset model into nursing education. Her publication “Mindsets May Matter in Nursing Education” was accepted by Nursing Education Perspectives journal.
I M A G E S
40" x 40" x 4", handmade paper painting, 2017
Rocks and Water as Portrait of Life’s Journey
Boston Public Garden Growing up in Syracuse, New York, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a public garden in the center of our city. As a result, I fell in love with the Boston Public Garden as soon as I moved to Boston in 1986. At the time, I lived close to the Garden and could ride my bike through its meandering paths as often as I liked. 18
36" x 24", handmade paper painting, 2005
Riding oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bike to the Boston Public Garden is an act of freedom I have never taken lightly. I like to take photographs under the many trees in the Garden as the light filters so nicely, especially under the willow trees. This makes for a romantic light in the final painting. Other artists who have painted the Garden are Childe Hassam and John Singer Sargent.Â
36" x 24", handmade paper painting, 2007
Courtyard Garden This painting is inspired by the gardens at Broughton Castle, Oxfordshire, England. I was on an English garden tour with my mother in 1998 just as the film crew was wrapping up filming the movie Shakespeare in Love. I used pearlescent pigment in the windows to create a reflective appearance—as if the light is reflecting off the glass.
am an artist and student of art history. I find inspiration in historical works of art and use that inspiration to inform my own efforts. In this way, I connect my ideas to the great artists whose ideas have come down to us through the ages. The subject of my work is most often natural environments. I study how artists have recorded nature throughout the history of art, and I consider these approaches in my own designs. When considering nature, I do not try to copy the natural world as I see it, but rather as I feel it. Moved by the natural light and organic shapes I observe in the places I visit seeking inspiration, I try to capture in my work the essence and mood of the place as well as to formulate a graphic interpretation of what I see.
My paintings and wall reliefs are created exclusively from natural materials. Each work is pigmented with 100 percent pure, non-fading, acid-free pigments and is carefully treated so that it can be exhibited without glass. My unique process and careful attention to craftsmanship provides a seductive, textured surface that lends itself to the natural subject matter of my work.
Courtesy of Meg Black
I create my work with beaten abaca— a fiber from the inner bark of the banana tree that is typically used to make tea bags and sails for sailboats—for two reasons. One is that this material has not been widely used as an artistic medium; thus, I am constantly discovering its potential and am challenged by its capacities, which allows me to be a pioneer in this process. The second
is that the texture of this medium provides an almost three-dimensional quality to the finished surface, thus mimicking nature in all its splendor.
Meg Black, PhD, is coordinator of 4+1 and MAT in Art Education at Salem State University. An artist who has worked with natural fibers for more than thirty years, she is a pioneer in this exploratory medium. Her paintings are internationally recognized for their textured surfaces and colorful luminosity. Her focus on nature’s palette, compositions, and energy yields stunning landscapes, seascapes, and garden views.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
E S S A Y
Ajay Jaisingh portrays Dharma (the Compassionate) Ashoka expressing extreme remorse over his genocide of the kingdom of Kalinga, which he destroyed.
Resurrecting Emperor Ashoka through the Dramatic Arts:
A Labor of Love and Madness Anurag Jain 21
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
have been exposed to the fine and performance arts since my childhood. The seeds were sown early during my formative years in Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay), where I was lucky to have access to a smorgasbord of cultural and performing arts. I watched Brutus give his speech, I took in The Odyssey of Homer, I watched light-footed ballerinas from the Bolshoi Theater. As an undergraduate I participated in the dramatic arts, my head spinning with excitement at the intoxicating mix of reality seasoned with fantasy; the arts were a great meditative distraction to the punishing pursuits of a business degree.
I have always had a penchant for playwriting. Unraveling and leveraging the rich 7,000-plus years history of Indic civilization has always been alluring to me. Ancient yet timeless epic poems such as the Mahabharata—a compilation of ethics, history, legends, wars, and culture of ancient India—have been retold around the world for centuries. I wanted to bring to life an equally powerful yet seldom-told story from the rich cultural past of the Indic civilization: the story of Emperor Ashoka, who around 300 BCE (Before Common Era, formerly expressed as BC)—at the height of his glory—united five large regional provincial states into a federation called the Mauryan Empire.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
Fast-forward to today, when the dramatic arts are my primary Cover of the playbill for “The Legend of Emperor Ashoka,” creative outlet. In recent years I designed by playwright Anurag Jain. have been active in local community The ancient history of the theater, and in May 2016 wrote, Indian subcontinent is rich with directed, and produced an original play titled “The Legend stories having global impact and appeal. At the time that of Emperor Ashoka: From Brutality to Compassion.” Emperor Ashoka’s legend was unfolding, India was a
Ashoka’s grandfather, King Chandragupt, center, played by Pankaj Shah, consults with his chief adviser and mentor, Chanakya, right, portrayed by Sanjay Jain. 22
Courtesy of Rekha Jain
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
global superpower, actively “The Legend of Emperor trading with Rome and Greece Ashoka” goes beyond the to the West and China to adoption of Buddhism the East. His empire, which across the world. It is a stretched across most of the story of power, politics, Indian subcontinent, was then love, greed, brutality, considered the largest and the and great compassion. most prosperous in the known Some 250 years after The world. He was the driving Buddha (300 BCE), India force behind the adoption of entered a period of major Buddhism stretching as far as socio-political and cultural to Syria and to Japan. When transformation. Buddhism India gained its independence and Jainism started making from the British in 1947, the inroads in the social fabric as trustees of the new nation— alternative forms of Dharmic Prince (the Young) Ashoka, portrayed by Nikhil Bhatia, courts Devi, a after deep introspection and philosophies. During this peasant’s daughter and his wife-to-be, with grand promises of a golden future. analysis of India’s 5,000period India saw a rise in plus years of history—chose a four-lion head as India’s urban centers, the formation of regional provincial states, national symbol and seal, symbolizing nobility and strength and increased regional and global trade activities. This in all dirctions. They also choose the “chakra of Dharma” culminated in the establishment of the Mauryan Empire (the wheel of dharma) as the central piece in the nation’s under Ashoka’s grandfather: Chandragupt, the Maurya. flag. Both artifacts are associated with Emperor Ashoka, By the time of Emperor Ashoka, the Mauryan Empire considered one of the greatest historical figures in the Indian was considered the richest in the known universe, past and perhaps in world history. In fact, his greatness has where global trade, economic prosperity, and education been put on a higher pedestal than that of Alexander and flourished. Taxila and Nalanda universities were Constantine by the prolific writer H.G. Wells.
The playwright, Anurag Jain, portrays the key protagonist, Duryodhan, in the play Mahabharata. Here, Duryodhan, while lying wounded in the battlefield, chooses to forgive his enemies in his dying breath. 23
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
Kand (the Fierce) Ashoka—at right, portrayed by Sridhar Pola—discusses battle strategies with his general, portrayed at left by Nilay Mukherjee. Ashoka is portrayed by three different actors depending on his phase of life.
recognized as global centers of learning However, no comprehensive and knowledge. From as far away as story about Ashoka and his empire, “The Legend of Emperor Greece and China, merchants came to pieced together in its entirety, has Ashoka” goes beyond participate in the wealth, and students been performed. At best, the stories came to absorb the knowledge of presented as random pieces. the adoption of Buddhism are philosophy, mathematics, astronomy, Even the “Indica” of Megasthenes and science. The empire covered most is at best preserved in fragments, across the world. It is a of the Indian subcontinent, ranging mostly because there is no single story of power, politics, from the fringes of the Hindu Kush comprehensive source available. mountains in present-day Afghanistan The various Buddhist traditions and love, greed, brutality, to the state of Bihar in present-day other existing stories have their own and great compassion. India. According to the records of versions with a mix of folklore and Megasthenes, the Greek envoy to the fact that agree only on some parts. court of Chandragupt, the capital So the challenges before me as a city of Patliputra was imposing. The playwright were twofold: putting a logical and cogent city was more than 10 square miles, surrounded by a story together, and then creating the acts and scenes of protective wall and 64 lofty gates. Within these walls a stage production. were more than 400,000 people living in comfort and To work on the story, I delved into the history of safety, while an equally large active army camped in Mauryan Empire, the Nanda Empire, The Ardhshastra— surrounding cantonments. The palace and state buildings an exhaustive and ancient treatise on statecraft, ancient were grander than those in Persia. It is in this active, history of India, ancient economics and trade of India, vibrant, and imposing period of world history that the the history of Odhisa and Andhra Pradesh (states on story of Emperor Ashoka unfolds. 24
I began penning the script in 2014, finished it in a year, and staged the play in the summer of 2016. I believe I have woven a complete yet compelling story about the odyssey of Ashoka for the first time in the dramatic arts. The play includes a few novel presentation styles. For instance, I deployed a Sutra-Dhar, who is both a narrator and a character Above, Sanjay Jain gets prepped for his role as a revered and in the play. This was primarily respected adviser to the line of kings. Below is Ashoka’s trusted to help the audience relate to adviser, Rajgupt, portrayed by Shaan Bagchi. the story, given that it has never been presented in the United States. I also presented some elements of the story through dance without dialogue—a theme quintessentially dominant in Sanskrit theater, in which the organic unity of the narrators, dance, and play results in visual poetry. The story begins with the victory of Chandragupt over Alexander’s general Seleucus, thereby signaling the growth and dominance of the Mauryan Empire. While Chandragupt expanded the geographical boundaries of Maurya, his son Bindusar established a well-oiled federated administration to govern the vast kingdom. Both Chandragupt and Binsdusar were aided by Chanakya, then
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
The play presents Ashoka’s journey: his youth, motivations, trials, and transformation from a ruthless killing machine to a man of love and compassion. To illustrate these, I took the creative liberty to weave facts with some fables, plausible rationality, and anachronisms.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
India’s east coast), various translations of Ashoka’s rock edicts, and Tibetan and the Sri Lankan versions of the Ashokavadana. With so much detail, it would have been easy to turn the story into a long, drawn-out stage play. To avoid that, I stuck to facts that complemented the general flow of the story without getting bogged down in details. My goal was for a person who knew nothing of Ashoka to be able to get clear insight into his life and this facet of world history via a stage production.
considered one of the greatest minds on statecraft. Ashoka, Bindusar’s son, took the Mauryan Empire to its height of glory, at which point Ashoka—in a twist and change of heart—halted all territorial expansion, mostly in reaction to the ensuing holocaust of the kingdom of Kalinga that he caused. Then, with the same focus and devotion, he spread the teachings of Buddhism—the dharma of universal peace, compassion, and love—as far as Japan. He went from conquering lands to leading efforts to conquer ego and win hearts. The play knits together the various threads of reason, logic, theories, and metaphysics that nurtured Ashoka’s transformation. There is consensus about some events in Ashoka’s chronology, namely his war on Kalinga, an economically thriving and strategic kingdom on the eastern seaboard of what was then India. But there is little agreement about his life as a person or a king. The play presents Ashoka’s journey: his youth, motivations, trials, and transformation from a ruthless killing machine to a man of love and compassion. To illustrate these, I took the creative liberty to weave facts with some fables, plausible rationality, and anachronisms. However, I remained true to the significant episodes and worked to write a script that tells an enthralling and mesmerizing story, brings strong characters to life, taps into the era when India was a superpower, appeals to a variety of audiences, “mesmerizes” audiences with classically inspired dances, and evokes emotions, passion, wit, and logic. 25
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
This celebratory dance represents the coming together of former enemies: Ashoka’s grandfather vanquished Alexander’s general, but the two cemented their friendship through the marriage of their children.
Once my script was ready, I Next came pre-production, which faced the hurdle of producing the involved getting a performance Since this play had visual play. Who associates the creative space, actors, and costumes, as well arts with a professor of information sequences that had to be as scheduling practices. Though the systems, right? Since I was not wellrevolves around the central core depicted through dance forms, play known in the drama world, I did of Ashoka, it needed other actors everything on my own. I created buttressing the core; without them the immediate challenge lay the non-profit Darpan Theater the story could not be told. Since in finding dancers who could (meaning “mirror”), signifying this was a period play with grand the ability of drama to reflect the match the vision encapsulated objectives, we needed many actors. human past and society, and whose I did a casting call across several in the dramaturgy. This was acronym spells Dramatic Arts forums, including theater and speech Repertoire Presenting Artistic department bulletin boards at a nerve-racking task, since Nuances. I created the website several universities. All actors finally with artwork and text at they had to know the traditions came through networking, personal darpantheater.org and the Facebook contacts, and meetings. All were of Indian classical dances. page facebook.com/darpantheater. local to the Boston area and came I learned software that let me create from many walks of life, including a thematic poster that conveyed the doctors, professors, technology essence of the play. Thankfully, summer offered consultants, teachers, students, artists, and scientists, and some succor to compensate for the learning curve. a few from theater itself. They were a great multicultural 26
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
At center is a depiction of an 8-by-8-foot Chakra, a significant symbol of a federation.
At center is a depiction of an 8-by-8-foot Chakra, a significant symbol of a federation.
I had my first reading with potential actors in early December 2015. Since this play had visual sequences that had to be depicted through dance forms, the immediate challenge lay in finding talented dancers who could match the vision encapsulated in the dramaturgy. This was a nerve-racking task, since they had to know the traditions of Indian classical dances. After cajoling and capitalizing on the allure of the subject matter, I got two dance teams to say yes to the project. To my relief, the dance teams could practice largely autonomously with little supervision. We collectively worked and picked out the music. Once the larger pieces of the puzzle came together, smaller pieces— such as light and sound—followed. This labor of madness led to sleepless nights, anxiety, and excitement. Choosing a performance space was more of a mechanical activity. I sourced several venues while considering space quality, a tight budget, and availability. Finally, we secured an intimate performance space at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.
Though I did not have the financial or human power to build elaborate sets, I still wanted them to look stunning. I could have rented a backdrop that would somewhat resemble a palace scene from that era—but it would be a stretch of the imagination to force-fit a backdrop to the play. After chance conversations with people in the local theater community, we decided to build an 8-by-8 foot Chakra (Wheel) of Ashoka that would have a heavy stone look and be finished with ornate carving. After several trips to Home Depot and many long late nights, the pièce de résistance finally came into being, despite the tricky logistics of transporting and setting up the wheel on stage.
This close-up of one of the pillars depicted above shows intricate carvings.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
mix, a harbinger of tremendous fun ahead. I made it clear to them that this was an all-volunteer project; the only pay would be a shared passion for theater.
This Chakra would serve as the imposing back to the throne of the king. Flanking it would be two stupas, highly ornate gateways that dated back to more than 2,000 years ago. Because of logistical difficulties, we gave up this idea—but a local wedding decorator, impressed with our endeavor, let us borrow her ornate and prized decorative pillars. With the Chakra, pillars, and bronzed elephants flanking a red-and-golden throne, the set gave off a serious “wow” factor. 27
We did extensive research to get the costumes close to the tradition of that time period, a not-easy task given the paucity of references to the dress of that era. The usual garment worn in those days was called an Antariya, which resembles the Dhoti—a single-weave long strip of cloth draped like a pair of trousers. We used Dhotis for both male and female actors. The men wore turbans on their heads and, on their torsos, a short Angarkha— a wrap-around-type top. For the female actors, we used Amrapali-inspired clothing, essentially a Dhoti for women with practically no cover-up of the top half of the body besides heavy jewelry. To accommodate their comfort level with nudity, we had them wear short blouses that worked out beautifully by adding to the medley of colors.
efore this, I had been active in community theater in Boston, acting in other period dramas that were thematically from Indian history such as the Mahabharata and the Mughal Empire. The ancient history of India is rich in powerful stories that have global impact and universal appeal. One of them, “Shah Jahan,” was based on the life of the Emperor Shah Jahan, who built one of the great wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, considered the world’s most beautiful building dedicated to love. I played this main protagonist—the emperor— at a time when he is old and frail, betrayed by his powerhungry son. In my role, the vulnerable emperor decays into a shadow of his former glory only to be kept alive by the fading memories of his love for his wife. This play is set in the history of India when it was ruled by the Mughal dynasty. The Mughals were originally invaders from central Asia who actually settled in what was India then and established their dominance for about 200 years
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
In essence, we tried to balance authenticity with practicality. Almost all the garment pieces were stitched and outsourced in India. Both women and men wore their hair long in that era. Men usually tied their hair in a knot on the side or on top of the head, covered by a turban or bedecked with jewelry. We had to work within the constraints of having little access to designers, tailors, fabric, or money. Somehow I got much-needed heaven-sent help, especially for the turbans and the costumes for the Greek and Chinese characters.
Finally, we strung the stage lights, using lighting to create mood variations for scenes spanning dreams, war, sadness, romance, and celebration. This production now started having the appearance of one holding a great conversational and visual treat for audiences, as I had envisioned. This production was my first as a playwright, director, and set and costume designer.
Ajay Jaisingh, as Dharma (the Compassionate) Ashoka, is questioned and provoked by his wife, Devi, portrayed by Sanaa Kazi. 28
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
Above, playwright Anurag Jain hugs his wife, Seema Grover, at the end of the play for her work as producer, stage manager, and makeup coordinator.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
from 1500-1700 CE (Common I have been ostensibly Era, formerly expressed as AD). influenced by the canons of They became woven into the the theatrical arts, which have cultural fabric of the land. Prior existed since the industrial to that, I had the privilege to age. But I have started seeing enact in drama version the oldest things from a different and perhaps the largest poems perspective since my personal ever—the Mahabharata, dated rediscovery and decoding around 1000 BCE—with more of the frameworks and than 100,000 couplets, longer prescriptives contained in the than the combined Greek epics oldest and most comprehensive The Iliad and The Odyssey. It has compendium on drama been adapted in many languages. that exists with the human The story is timeless, for the civilization—the Natya Shastra. simple reason that it explores the But sharing the knowledge Anurag Jain gives an introduction before the play begins. full range of human conditions, trapped in it is perhaps a emotions, values, and intellect. conversation for another time. Again, I played the key protagonist, Duryodhan, To my delight, all the Ashoka shows sold out. We even a righteous but hot-tempered warrior king. had a 3-year-old in the front row who refused to blink When approaching my characters in stage plays, it was during the entire performance, while his smiling mother not sufficient for me to simply “get into” the character sat beside him. and memorize my lines; it was equally important for me Now, I can scratch another period drama in the wood, to understand myself, the time period, and the story not only as an actor but this time as a playwright and in its entirety. For that, I examined many texts and director. reference sources in order to understand my character. After verifying the plausible plots and facts, I then Anurag Jain, PhD, is a Salem State reverse-engineered the story from the dialogues. This University professor of Marketing and narrative helped me to understand the emotional state of Decision Sciences. His doctoral education the character and also the flow of the acts and the scenes. and teaching are centered on information technology and systems—mainly the While creating this, several aspects of the characters’ cross-pollination of IT, innovation, and background components and states of mind emerged. business. His avocational interests are in Additionally, such documentary wellsprings served as a the performing arts, especially theatre, resource enabling us to generate a crisp handout for our where he loves to write, act, and direct audience as well. Such an approach is pertinent to period plays grounded in Indic history and literature. dramas and history-centric performances. Courtesy of Anurag Jain
E S S A Y
Storytelling in Spain Through Cross-Cultural Immersion
El Miguelete and Cathedral Micalet de la Seu in historic downtown Valencia, Spain.
fter teaching writing at Salem State University for 12 years, I decided to develop a new course. Building Global Communities Through Storytelling would help students acquire writing skills and develop their ability to construct stories. While at Salem State I had developed two passion courses: Exploring the Arts on Campus (a writing course) and Public Speaking for Introverts. In 2015, while reading a faculty newsletter for Emerson College, where I am an affiliated professor, I saw an advertised position for a research fellowship in journalistic storytelling, which involved a hands-on trip to Valencia, Spain, from June 2 through July 2, 2015. I thought, “Doesn’t Valencia in the month of June sound grand?” 30
I applied for and accepted a position as a research associate to the program director, Jeffrey Brody, who is also a Professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. I simultaneously worked with ten journalism students to help them edit their stories, and organized a group-participation event called “story slam.” These students were ready to see the world and work on their ability to take the landscape around them and build it into their own story. Upon arrival in Valencia, all non-Spanish speakers (both students and faculty) met for an hour for a language lesson. We then had two hours of class time focusing on storytelling.
people as well as their own perspectives on time, place, and community. Students often go abroad not knowing the language or much about the culture of their host city. Connecting to artwork helps them First I took students create their own to the Museo of Belle personal story that Artes—the Fine Arts incorporates the Museum—to show country’s culture them another way of and history, and looking at art. what was important to the people there. To give these The students’ students a challenge, understanding of the I chose five paintings Pictured left to right: Jeffrey Brody, Agatha Morrell, Gema Robledo Zahonero, the group’s place as a community translator and local resource, Amara Aguilar, and John Shrader in front of a street mural in in the museum and was enhanced by Valencia’s Carmen neighborhood. focused on the story the relationships, within the painting as well as the fashions, and objects they observed story about the painting. I focused and saw being used. Creating Creating stories about the on the Spanish artists Goncal Peris stories about the experiences of the Sarria, Joan de Joanes, Francisco experiences of the people, people, objects, and places within Ribalta, Bartolome Esteban Murillo, paintings deepened students’ and Francisco de Goya Lucientes. objects, and places within the the understanding of their unfamiliar paintings deepened students’ surroundings. We cross-analyzed the narrative elements in the paintings through Ultimately, through encountering understanding of their three main methods: observing and different perspectives on the interpreting the minor characters, unfamiliar surroundings. universal concepts such as the ones noting the placement and poses of I practiced in Valencia, I hope people, and examining the symbols students can broaden their own and setting. We involved ourselves with the paintings perceptions and better understand how they are situated through questioning, discussing, laughing, and posing. in the global community. Another afternoon we visited the Museum of The author wishes to recognize the following faculty members Contemporary Art, where the students observed the who participated in the program: Jeffrey Brody, Professor of Sorolla Gallery and examined a single painting by Communications, Director of the ieiMedia Program, Valencia, Valencian painter Joaquin Sorolla Bastida (1863-1923). Spain, California State University, Fullerton; John Shrader, As we walked the streets in the Carmen District, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, looking at graffiti and street art, we decided to go to California State University, Long Beach; and Amara Aguilar, some local tourist sites, such as the Cathedral of the Associate Professor of Professional Practice in Digital Journalism, Holy Grail and the beach for the Feast of St. John the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Baptist (where people still jump over fires in his honor).
Photo courtesy of John Shrader
I planned to take students to see artwork in both the museums and the streets of Valencia in order to engage them with the cultural surroundings and the context of the place.
The streets of Spain are full to the brim with life. We were lucky to watch locals perform a flamenco show, a true Valencian experience. Of course, we also had to try the local food, of which paella was a group favorite. Jessica Analoro
Through these wonderful life-altering experiences, I developed my own research by exploring how students can engage with the important sites of a city—cultural, religious, and commercial—to learn more deeply about
Agatha Morrell is an adjunct professor in the Theater and Speech Communication department at Salem State University. Her courses reflect her advocacy of the arts and experiential learning. She founded Ledge Gallery, a public art space on the staircase landing between Meier Hall’s first and second floor. Every April she leads a group on International Slow Art Day at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
P O E T R Y
Flames Chris Richard
It was the worst winter on record since 1942, Hulking snow drifts stood languidly along street corners awaiting the sudden screech of brakes. The crackle of fiberglass and metal, Then silence, Resting on the cold air. In the artificial streetlight I hack at the ice-laden pavement, Chip, chip, chip—futility. You come out to help, Excavating layer upon layer in the expansive void between us. I’ve seen this before, Somewhere in the haze of cathode ray static, It’s episode six, where Shiva juggles bulbous orbs of sand. 12:07 a.m. and we’ve headed into the backyard, Barefoot, sweeping snow until our hands are diamonds, cut and raw. There is a thimble-sized hole behind the shed, filled with pools of oily light, Where we hurl in leftovers. Arms, legs, torsos—an offering of peace to buy a moment, and a breath.
Pillars of light descend from the sky, Narrowing to pin drop points on thin strands of grass. My father sat at the picnic table, His hands thick and scarred, sliding over aged hazel, As clouds swung from the sky. He spoke in a tongue long past, twisted amongst frayed strands of rope and pig entrails, Baking in the blistering sun, vibrant against strands of grass. I strained to understand, as I once did in Italy, a short plump man, his nose split—incomprehensible, Drowning lamentations, pattering raindrops descend from the sky. I move close enough to smell him, and the scent hisses at me—rotting peaches, Marlboros, Secrets and silence smothered beneath strands of grass. We listen, and I reach past his groping hands, My fingers running up the jagged river scars, To snuff out the light dripping from the sky, Even pale orchids bloom amongst thin strands of grass.
Speak of Moonlight I
Sugar cube melting, Drop against tar, Wisp, dip, Across eternity’s cusp.
In darkness with just one light. Nature’s lamp eternal, Droops from invisible wires. I relent to thoughts of you.
Extended neck-updated, Lunar rays bathe the land, That which is un-pure, This is (life).
Ever-expanding orb of opulence, The pearl of the universe, An almighty jewel.
III The white slit, Cut open sunlight.
ABOUT THE POEMS Flames can destroy but are also used to create, and in many regards are considered a pillar of what propelled humanity forward. In thinking about the trio of poems and their meaning as a whole, I wanted a title that spoke to the beautiful and brutal aspects of existing as a person of color in America.
IV Illumination and immensity. A clock strikes within this lunar castle.
I chose “Jihad” as a title for the first poem because the word is commonly associated with war by many Western individuals, but it also holds a greater emphasis on struggling and striving internally. In thinking about jihad in relation to the poem’s content, I felt it reflected the overarching topic of struggling with base impulses and the fight to find meaning, both internally and externally, and as it relates to those who surround us and love us.
V That mute light, Of cultivation and catalyst. Breeding consumption which crawls over my soul.
Chris Richard is an academic advisor within Salem State University’s Center for Academic Excellence. He hails from Connecticut and has been a member of the Salem State community for three years. Richard holds a flame for creative writing and art, and he continues to explore the complex interplay between the two, especially as it relates to identity, society, and mysticism.
E S S A Y
A Note on the Peach in “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”: In Honor of Richard Elia By Richard L. Elia; Edited and Introduced by John Tamilio III I. Editorial Introduction
t was the fall of 1989—the start of my senior year at Salem State College. I was in the process of applying to graduate schools. Northeastern University’s Master of Arts program in English topped my list. My advisor asked if I knew Dr. Richard Elia. “I know who he is,” I replied, “but I never had him as a professor.” I was told that I needed to talk to him, because he earned his MA in English from the same program and knew many of the faculty. I made my way to Sullivan Building 200A. It was everything a seasoned professor’s working quarters should look like: An old, narrow staircase allowed just enough space to squeeze into the first floor of a small office filled with bookcases. After introducing myself to the man at the first desk and explaining the occasion for my visit, he looked over his reading spectacles and dryly observed, “How is it that you made it through your undergraduate studies in English and never had me as a professor?” So much for Northeastern, I thought. However, I was accepted into the program and graduated two-and-a-half years after meeting the man who would become an esteemed colleague and dear friend. I began teaching at Salem State in the fall of 1992. When the late Professor John Steele took a sabbatical in the late ’90s, I temporarily occupied the second seat in SB 200A. Working next to Dr. Elia (I never could call him Richard) was educational for many reasons, the least of which was not the edification I received in viticulture. As the publisher of the revered Quarterly Review of Wines, Richard left “samples” on my desk each morning. 34
“When you drink this chardonnay,” he would instruct, “let it linger for a while. Ruminate on the rich flavors of citrus and vanilla, apple and oak.” Along with countless members of the Salem State community— from “Time present and time past,” to summon T.S. Eliot—I became intoxicated with Richard Elia. I left Salem State in 1999, but returned in the fall of 2012. A year later I began teaching philosophy; my office was down the hall from Dr. Elia’s. Reconnecting with him made my return to Salem State complete. Just before he went on sick leave in 2016, Dr. Elia asked me to read and edit a piece he wrote on T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” I felt like John the Baptist, whom Eliot alludes to in the aforementioned poem. “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” What follows is my edited copy of Richard Elia’s brief, original analysis of the “peach” in Eliot’s legendary poem. It fills a void that exists in Eliot scholarship. Even well-known Eliot commentators, such as B.C. Southam and George Williamson, say very little about this prominent symbol. After reading this essay, I asked Dr. Elia to consider publishing it. “No,” he said as he smiled. “My publishing days are over.” The irony of this comment chills me still. I am grateful to the Sextant for paying this tribute to one of Salem State’s most treasured minds, and for me to be given the opportunity to be associated with it. —John Tamilio III, PhD
II. A Note on Eliot’s Peach by Richard Elia
iterary criticism about T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is still abundant, yet references to the peach allusion have largely subsided. Editions like the latest Norton Anthology of Western Literature Volume II (ninth edition) make no reference to the peach. The first edition of the scrupulously edited Poems of T.S. Eliot by Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue humorously and ironically relate it to Gilbert and Sullivan’s Ruddigore. In Act I, Mad Margaret says,
It wasn’t long before the peach took on other symbolic meanings associated with longevity and success. The peach is a major archetypal symbol in India, China, and elsewhere. As an aside, in the nineteenth century, the art world saw Asian and Tibetan statues exported to the west: A wise man or guru in a lotus position holds a peach, which was said to symbolize success and longevity.
Eliot, in his Jamesian-like portrait of the ineffectual Prufrock, uses the peach ironically and to comic effect. The peach is a significant part of the mocking humor. Over the ripening peach Prufrock measures his unheroic “life with coffee Buzzes the bee. spoons.” The seagirls will have nothing to do with an Splash on the billowy beach unadventurous, essentially sexless man. He may have Tumbles the sea. dreamt of “known[ing] them all,”—“braceleted” arms, But the peach “light brown hair,” “perfume from a dress / That makes And the beach [him] so digress,” “sea-girls wreathed with seaweed,” but They are each never experienced the erotic, except in his “etherized” 1 state. His sexless life is further comically revealed: His Nothing to me! hair, like his legs, are growing thin, of which he is keenly This citation notwithstanding, the peach remains aware: “They will say: ‘But how his legs and arms are enigmatic, which is surprising given the amount of thin!’” The mermaids surely, will not sing to him; he’s symbolism related to it in literature and painting. not Odysseus hearing the Sirens’ luring song, just a pathetic The peach has always been an ironic John the associated with fertility and Eliot, in his Jamesian-like portrait Polonius, Baptist, concerned that his head erotica, and it is likely that Eliot, will be brought in upon a platter ever the scholar and admirer of Sir of the ineffectual Prufrock, uses “grown slightly bald.” James Frazer’s The Golden Bough the peach ironically and to comic and Jessie Weston’s From Ritual to Prufrock is, of course, Romance (which dealt with fertility effect. The peach is a significant concerned about his mortality, and vegetation myths), knew this. and if the peach symbolizes part of the mocking humor. The peach was sacred to Hymen, longevity and success, then they god of marriage. In The Trojan ironically don’t apply to him: Women, Euripides has Cassandra “I grow old…I grow old…” while celebrate her forthcoming marriage by hailing “Hymen, all the while he’s thinking about being young, dressing in King of Marriage.” Theophrastus, thinking the peach the latest fashion “wear[ing] white flannel trousers” with first came from Persia, referred to it in forbidden terms the “bottoms of [his] trousers rolled,” parting his hair as the “Persian Apple.” In painting, for example, Jan Van behind (perhaps covering his bald spot), romantically Eyck subtly displays peaches on the far side of the canvas walking the beach, hearing “the mermaids singing, each in The Arnolfini Marriage celebrating the couple’s successful to each.” The truth is his “moment” has flickered. Even nuptials and future fertility. “the eternal Footman” (death) snickers. The dramatic monologue concludes with human voices waking him, Later, the peach took on female and erotic wherein he drowns in his own reality, dreaming of characteristics. Truman Capote uses the peach seed “sea-girls.” erotically and with Southern gothic grotesqueness in A Tree of Night. The tale is a rite du passage of a young Like Guido da Montefeltro in the Dante epigram, woman who is sexually aroused by the peach charm. Prufrock awakens from his own “abyss.” Ricks and Sometimes the peach is associated with homoeroticism: McCue were closer to the meaning of the peach when Evelyn Waugh alludes to it in Brideshead Revisited several they alluded to Ruddigore: for neither the peach nor times as Charles and Sebastian partake of the peach. the beach will mean much to Prufrock. The poem humorously mocks the aesthete who, like many of James’ sexless characters, has forgotten to live, and 1 The Poems of T.S. Eliot,The Annotated Text,Volume I: Collected and who has only dared to partake of the fleshly peach. Uncollected Poems, Christopher Ricks and Jim McCue, eds. (Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2015), 398.
—Richard L. Elia, PhD 35
ichard Elia was a scholar and a gentleman in every sense of those terms, which is why he was so beloved at Salem State and the wider communities of his labor and leisure. Dr. Elia began his tenure at Salem State in 1969. According to his obituary, “He became one of Salem State’s most popular and longest-serving professors and, by the end of his career, his years of service had won him an honor he cherished: leading the school’s faculty into graduation exercises as its mace-bearer.” Students, faculty, staff, and administrators admired him for his intelligence, candor, and the warm personality— a personality that shone through the cracks of his otherwise stoic persona. It is no surprise that he was featured on WBUR’s Remembrance Project in October 2017 as a person of great influence. As mentioned earlier, Richard was also the founder and president of (and one of the head writers for) the prestigious Quarterly Review of Wines. (He would balk at the use of the adjective in the previous sentence, often cautioning me that people, places, and things should convey their own credentials by virtue of their virtue.) Not only did he travel the world to interview some of the most celebrated vintners on the planet, he also donated many expensive vintages to Salem State fundraisers, never looking for accolades. Maybe the legacy of Richard Elia is summarized best by Elissa Ely, who wrote, “In his teaching, in his living, he brought the sky right down to the earth.” —John Tamilio III, PhD
Courtesy of Salem State University
Richard L. Elia
John Tamilio III, PhD (BA 1990) is a Visiting Associate Professor of Philosophy at Salem State University. He is also the Pastor of the Congregational Church of Canton (NACCC). A member and benefactor of the T.S. Eliot Society in St. Louis, Professor Tamilio counts among his research interests ethics, the philosophy of religion, postmodernism, and, of course, the poetry of T.S. Eliot.
I N C L O S I N G
This was the Sextant’s first cover; the issue was published in 1986. In total, 32 issues have been published, including this one.
Courtesy of Darpan Theater
Sextant: The Journal of Salem State University 352 Lafayet te Street | CC130 Salem, Massachuset ts 01970 -5353
This dance celebrates the marriage of Prince (the Young) Ashoka to his wife, Devi, in the play â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Legend of Emperor Ashoka.â&#x20AC;? See the full article starting on page 21.