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THE PHOENIX ~lte:"Grll

S ..pple.,.e",t to tf-e Orange 4 White

may 1961


VOLUME

2

NUMBER

4

Orange and White Literary Supplement THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE Knoxville, Tennessee contents

APRIL DEATH

Suzanne Grahn ______________________________________________________ . ___________________ 11

editor

LAURA JEAN GOSS

IN THE WINTER OF YOUTH Eugene H ollahan _________________________________ ._______________________ ........ _...... 11 WINDFIRE Renni Dillard ... _.. _._ ...... _............... _.. __ ._ .... _._ ............... _....... ___ ....... 12

A GROUP OF HAIKU assistant editor

CHICA COLEBANK

James A. Sparks _..................... _... _.................. _... _...... _............... 13

SHE TRANSFORMS James A. Sparks .. _...................................................... _._._ .......... 14 "GIVEN THE EXISTENCE AS UTTERED FORTH" Ja1nes A. Sparks ....... -....... -....-..................................... _............. 14 ATROPHY Suzanne Grahn ................................................ __ ........................ 15

section editors

JAMES A. SPARKS

literary

DON EVANS

art review and exposition

ANN DEMPSTER

QUOTE - COUNTER QUOTE Suzanne Grahn .................................................................. _....... 15

DRAGONFLIES Stephen Shu-ning Liu ................................_..................... _....... 16

A FAREWELL Stephen Shu-ning Liu ......................... _.................................... 16

LINES ON LAKE MICHIGAN Stephen Shu-ning Liu .............................................................. 17

SONNET staff

SALLY POPE KURT HARRIS

Suzanne Grahn ................................................. _........................ 17

I KEEP FOR YOU Stephen Shu-ning Liu .............................................................. 18

SONG OF THE WREN Suzanne Grahn, .......................................................................... 18

A FABLE

Brian Ellsworth ....................... _...................~............................. 19

business m,anager

JOAN SHORT

HBEYOND GOOD AND EVIL": An analysis of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw Suzanne Grahn ..........................................................................20

GROOM ON TIP TOES Don Evans ..................................................................................22

THE PHOENIX advisory board

Dr. Percy G. Adams, Dr. Dale G. Cleaver, Dr. James F. Davidson,. Prof. James E. Kalshoven, Mrs. Carolyn Martin, Prof. Frank Thornburg.

may

1961


APRIL

DEATH by

Suzanne Grahn

The crisis mood of April drinks to death With murdering brandies axing bone from brain, Killing the sober air. The eagle falls PeI1plexed and unsupported through the void. Sensing his fate, a final effort flings His being to a throated bomb. One scream Betrays his dying act, and nothing Hears with a palsied heart and aching breast One less to die, one dying voice to live.

IN THE WINTER OF YOUTH by Eugene Hallahan

Call wizards to me From an old country And let them show Winds that blow blow Winds forever blowing. Call a country folk Grim beneath their yoke And let them show Waste ice and snow All their heart's a-knowing. Call the children too The feeble and few And make me see Their misery Once before my going. Wandering ghosts and grey Dim eccentric old men A weeping child at play See me into the world.

11


A GROUP OF HAIKU by James A. Sparks

KITTEN My ki tten has gone to play and dropped her silent bell upon the hearth.

FRIEND'S FEET To hear my friend's feet die into nothingness of night: a lonely sound.

BIRD I glance with envy at the blissful bird lying dead in the cool rain.

FENCE I have built a fence around my yard and all the birds have gone away.

AWAKENING Awakening is a wolf digging my body from sleep's quiet grave.

HER EYES I have seen within her eyes a forest where streams run cooly, softly.

WARM WIND The warm wind today has gathered my thoughts and borne them away, away.

13


DRAGONFLIES by Stephen Shu-ning Liu

My father hunted rabbits, My kitten attacked sparrows, My puppy chased roosters, And with a spider's web On the bannboo rake, I myself Ran after the dragonflies: I caught their skinny tails Of flames that seemed to bum On the cool summer grass; I tied their tiny feet With silk thread, and swung Them in the air till they Fainted, and dropped on the Ground like crashed airplanes. Often I miss my childhood sport, Whenever I see a htten or a puppy Playing his cheerful game; The rabbits are in the woods, The sparrows are in the bushes, The roosters on the farm Still crow aloud in the dawn; But my father shall not wake In his quiet chamber of clay: He leaves me all alone To watch the dragonflies Above the cool summer grass.

A

FAREWELL

by Stephen Shu-ning Liu

Farewell, land of beauty, I must go. Weep no more! my Li-Te, I must go. Listen to the whistles, Li-Te, farewell! Remember my last kiss of farewell! Farewell, lights upon the Huang- Poo River, Farewell, my only love, forever! Darkness all around, I am on the deep alone, Winds howl, waves roar, my return is unknown.

16


J

Lines on Lake Michigan by Stephen Shu-ning Liu

]

She sleeps! My beauty sleeps! Sailing lightly, boats upon the blue, Walking quietly, fishennen too; Oh evening winds, I pray, Blow gently all the way; She sleeps! My beauty sleeps! Home is the SUD, Day's work is done; Birds in the nest, Fishes at rest, Stars dim on high, Clouds still in the sky; Footsteps are heard no more, All silent is the shore. She sleeps! My beauty sleeps!

Sonnet by Suzanne Grahn Let the ocean in your blood sound trumpets, Bursting with a passionate delight; The breakers scale the crags like clarinets That play a somersault arpeggio; And snubbed-out waters lap the muted strings You pluck with drift-wood fingers, pizzicato; Crashing swells of chords thrust up on shore The laved reeds of lives before this life. These instruments are you: a symphony Of minute waves that leap to splendid peaks. The bed-rock cracks, the music churns, grows deeper In the ecstasy of growing deeper. Full tide your veins resound, a great crescendo; For now, my dear, you are an orchestra.

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I KEEP FOR YOU by Stephen Shu-ning Liu

I keep my words for you, Swallows above the hill; I keep my songs for you, Poplars beside the rill; I keep my dreams for you, Valleys in which I roved; I keep my 'heart for you, Oh sisters, dearly loved; I keep my thoughts for you, Oh bosom friends of gold; I keep my tears for you, Oh mother lone and old; Let springtime come and go, Alone I bear my woe. But still, but still, I pray, Remember me today; This day the hours through, As I remember you!

SONG OF THE WREN by Suzanne Grahn

All night long I lay awake And heard the cold wind shake the tree, And saw the thin green morning break Between us like eternity; And knew for all that fear might say, For all love's proud heroic stand, I would have cast the world away To see your face and touch your hand.

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A FABLE by Brian Ellsworth

pieces at them. HIt would have worked if you hadn't come along." And he slithered off into the forest.

There once was a wise bear who took his son for a walk every day, to look at the forest and learn. One day as they walked, they came to a clearing in which an elephant was lowering his great forefoot upon a coconut. The coconut cracked, and the elephant sorted its pieces carefully with his trunk.

The bears picked up the pieces of coconut near them, and walked on. By and by, they came upon a monkey sitting on a stone, cracking a coconut. They watched him pare the meat into small, white balls, which he arranged in a row in front of him.

liDo you like coconuts?" asked the little bear. HNo," replied the elephant. IIThis is a magic coconut. I have cracked it up to find the ruby in its center, for a jeweled halter such as I have seen in pictures of India."

HIs that by any chance a magic coconut?" asked the little bear, who learned very fast. HAs a matter of fact," said the monkey, Hit is. It is a magic coconut, and I am cracking it up to make a pearl necklace." With that, he strung the white balls on a string, tied it around his neck, and sat looking very pleased with himself.

HThere is no ruby in it," said the little bear. Hit is just an ordinary coconut." The elephant turned over the last piece in disappointment. HYes," he agreed sadly Hthis is just an ordinary coconut. I must look more carefully." And he lumbered off into the forest.

HThat isn't a pearl necklace," said the little bear. HThose are just pieces of coconut, and they aren't even very round."

The father bear picked up the pieces of coconut and gave some to his son as they walked on. Presently, they passed beneath a large tree in which was coiled a giant boa constrictor. One fold of its body enveloped a coconut.

The monkey looked coldly at the father bear. "It seems to me," he said, "that the Owl Committee should look into the kind of education this child has had." And he stalked off in to the forest.

'What are you doing?" asked the little bear.

This was too much for the little bear. HPeople won't really believe those are pearls, will they?" he asked his father.

HI 'have a magic coconut," said the snake. Hits milk will turn my scales to gold, making me a thing of beauty as well as power." In the green vise the coconut split, spilling its liquid along the reptilian length.

"Some will," replied the bear. "That is your lesson for today. Many things are not what they're cracked up to be. Which isn't to say," he added, gathering up the pieces, "that they tmay not be good for something."

uYou look just the same," said the little bear.

Hyou spoiled the charm," hissed the snake, lashing the

And they walked home, eating the coconut.

19


"Beyond Good and Evil": An Analysis of Henry James'

THE TURN OF THE SCREW by Suzanne Grahn

In his novella, The Turn of the Screw, I believe Henry J ames intended to write an instructive commentary on the continuing struggle between good and evil influences in the world, and the history of an individual's moral development during such a struggle.

plicated design. It also accounts for the lapse of time. The gO\~erness told her story after a "long time," Douglas related it after forty years, and the present narrator tells it ,after an indefinitely long period of time has passed. It does not seem extravagant to suppose that this message was brought by Christ nearly 2,000 years ago and has since been carried through the centuries by a few people who understand it.

J ames opens his tale with a hint of something dreadful and unusual in the air of an old house on Christmas Eve, where ghost stories are being exchanged. A small circle is present. The host, Douglas, suggests a tale that will top all. Significantly, he mentions it only after some deliberation and tells it later with a certain reluctance. Douglas warns in advance that it is not a simple story. He adds that the impression it gave him has never been lost; all his life he has carried it in his heart. To a question from Mrs. Griffith, Douglas answers that "the story won't tell [its message] ... in any literal, vulgar way." This brings the complaint, "That's the only way I ever understand." Note that by the time the story is told, some of the ladies have departed, leaving, in James' words, Douglas' "Little final auditory made more compact and select."

At the opening of the story it is evident that Douglas was, when young, infatuated with the governess, who was ten years older than he and who discouraged his attentions. It is also evident that she left with him an impression stronger than physical love, a kind ,of strength that endured for him all his life. This means, of course, that the governess achieved a sort of immortality, not unlike Christ's. It is interesting to note that Douglas died shortly after telling his story, and so he too joined what George Eliot called the "choir invisible, of those immortal dead who live again in minds made better by their presence." The narrator tells his story "much later." (It would not be stretching a point to observe that James' tale has survived these many years since his death.)

In his essay on "The Ambiguity of Henry James," Edmund Wilson, in support of his theory that the governess is perverted, points out that the story is told by the governess. It seems to me that Mr. Wilson has grossly misinterpreted James' statement that he gave the governess "authority," and has sadly overlooked the facts that Douglas told the story to his small audience, and the narrator of the present story tells it to us, obviously with the intention of having it believed. Douglas firmly believes it. The narrator places faith in Douglas' judgment. Furthermore, the Uselect auditory" James describes is not a mediocre one. Douglas is a man of education (note the reference to his having been at Trinity); one of his listeners perceives instantly that he had been in love with the governess and comments, URaison de plus!-at that age!" This is a society with money, servants and leisure time; it is not a society to be charmed with an ,ordinary ghost story. James could easily have had the governess tell her story without preliminaries, had he desired to make her a dubious character; instead, he places her as the governess of Douglas' sister. I conclude that Mr. Wilson belongs in the class of the departing ladies, and not to the Uselect auditory." This brings me to the premise that the governess' message can be understood and transmitted by only a few people, which explains why she told only Douglas, why he told only one particular group, and why James has chosen his com-

The governess' history begins when, clothed in ignorant innocence, she timidly comes to London to seek employment. She is the youngest daughter of a rural minister. For the first time she encounters physical attraction to the opposite sex, and mentally she succumbs, to the extent that she accepts a job of which she is afraid. Significantly, the condition of the job is that she must handle it alone. On the surface, the task consists of caring for two children. Later she learns that this brings with it "necessary danger to life." Danger to eternal life is suggested. The scene of her employment is an idyllic country estate named Bly (imitating blythe). From the moment of her arrival, there are rooks cawing overhead, jarring the tranquility. The children are perfectly beautiful and beautifully perfect-too much so, in fact. There is an aura of mystery about them. The suspense deepens. Miles, the little boy, has been dismissed from school for reasons he does not allude to. The children's former governess, a "very respectable" young woman, has died mysteriously. The cast is completed by the housekeeper, Mrs. Grose, whose name suggests simplicity, ignorance, obviousness, all characteristics of her. From the beginning James adroitly suggests, in his

20


housekeeper, thereby gammg strength. Mrs. Grose, however, destined never to see the man she realizes is Quint, will never recognize evil.

selection of details, the co-existence of two influences. "Radiant image" and "angelic beauty" produce a "restlessness" on the part of the governess. In the same sentence, "faint summer dawn" and "fading dusk" occur. Flora, the little girl, is "naturally timid" and "perfectly frank"-a strange admixture.

The Christ-figure symbolism is mDst obviDus in the governess' follDwing progress. She perceives that IIby offering myself bravely as the sole subject of such experience, by accepting, by inviting, by surmounting it all, I should serve as an expiatory victim and guard the tranquility of my companions." She will learn later that she cannot do this.

The governess is quite carried away by her own importance, as the molder of children. With considerable vanity she sees herself shaping them for happy, useful lives. This feeling grows. She says herself that she was "caught off guard." Apparently she imagines the children as being in a kind of vacuum of love, and she speculates about how the far distant future might "bruise" them. In the meantime, she is hoping that she will encounter her employer and a romance will develop. Thinking of this one day, she rounds a corner of the garden and sees a man on a tower. At first she takes him for the man she desires, then quickly recognizes that he is not. She says, "I thought, with extraordinary quickness, of each person that he might have been and that he was not." There is the inference that the man on the tower is evil, but that he also has free will, and thence descended to his "fatal slip in the dark" to what he became. It is interesting to note that he appears on top of a tower; the governess has observed that Bly has a fortified look. The superficial fortifica tion was clearly no defense against the evil intruder.

Nevertheless, the governess is mDre mature than the uncle in London, who thinks that by providing for the physical welfare of the children he can satisfy his moral obligations to them. James is careful tD indicate that Quint was very clever and devoted no end of time to his efforts to corrupt the boy, Miles, while the uncle could not be bothered with saving him from such corruptiDn. N ext sets in the governess' repression, back to her own IIsequestered" YDuth and to Mrs. Grose's position, characterized by the IIsleeping" house. She wishes to escape from the problem of evil; she rationalizes that the children are "blameless and foredoomed," that Quint's cunning is too much for a country parson's daughter. But, when next she senses the presence of the evil influence, she is convinced he is communicating with the children and she calls Mrs. Grose to watch them. This Mrs. GrDse does with IIpositive placidity." Recognizing Mrs. Grose's position, the governess grows in her moral awareness. She says of Mrs. Grose, III had made her a receptacle of lurid things, but there was an odd recognitiDn of my superiority-my accomplishments and my function-in her patience under my pain." It is important to notice that by nDW the governess is actually feeling pain.

The governess turns from the scene that has been suddenly "stricken with death" to the house, and we are struck by the contrast, the "plain heartiness" of the housekeeper, "the wide white panelled space, bright in the lamplight." Simultaneous with the governess' beginning of fear is her desire to spare Mrs. Grose. She thinks she can keep the discovery to herself. From this she moves to the conelusion that the residents of Bly have been subjected to an unfair intrusion. Then, taking the line of reasoning that Mrs. Grose consistently takes, she shuts the event out of her mind (symbolized here by closeting herself in her room) and concentrates on loving the children. She observes that Miles "had never for a second suffered" because of evil and concludes that he was "therefore angel." Coming early, this is a highly significant passage; it is an absolute contradiction of James' contention that innDcence is not virtue.

The governess' real trial comes on a Sunday, on her way to seek refuge in church. She thinks IIwIth envy of the comparative dusk of the pew and of the almDst spiritual help of the hassock on which I might bend my knees." The governess is surely undergoing her own Agony in the Garden. She is seized with a terrible impulse to give up the whole affair, to retreat. Having overcome the temptation, she returns to Bly and finds the IIghost" of her predecessor, Miss Jessel, in the nursery. The next day Flora disappears. Convinced that she is with Miss Jessel, the governess hurries to search at the lake, where she vainly confronts the child. Flora gaily asks, IIAnd where's Miles?" In the gDverness' response the Christ-figure symboli9I1l again is vivid. "These three words from her were, in a flash like the glitter .of a drawn blade, the jostle of the cup that my hand, for weeks and weeks, had held high and full to the brim and that now, even before speaking, I felt overflow in a deluge." Remember the words attributed to Christ at Gethsemane: "Father, if it be Thy will, let this cup pass from Me." vVithout leaving her Gethsemane, the governess moves intD her aloneness. She has had to outgrow her need fDr Mrs. Grose, who allies herself with those who refuse to recognize evil. Throwing herself upon the ground, the governess gives way to grief. When, after long crying, she gets up, she looks at the IIblank, haunted edge of the pool" and then goes back to her "dreary and difficult course."

A short time passes. On a rainy Sunday the intruder appears again, just outside the window, long enough for the governess to feel that she "had been looking at him for years and had known him always." She concludes that he had come not for her but for "someone else." On the surface, he had. The intimation, however, is that evil has always heen present and that she must fight it for the sake of her own salvation. (NDte that the governess' highly respectable predecessor had also under-gone this test. Of course, she succumbed to temptation and IIdied." Whether this death was physical or spiritual is open to questiDn. We may also observe that the man who represents evil is handsome, almost IDoks like a gentleman. DDes not this suggest that evil can not .only be physically attractive but also can masquerade as something better than it is?) The governess proceeds to the next stage in her growth. She confides in Mrs. Grose so that she can lean on the

21


Mrs. Grose packs Flora off to London. I do not believe there is sufficient evidence to suppose that Flora is either "damned" or "saved." She is, after all, a very small child, and there is at least the suggestion that more than anything else she has been influenced in this affair by Hslavish idolatry" of her brother. It would appear that Flora has merely been removed from ,t he present scene of temptation and conflict, and that the important .factor is the governess' realization that she cannot help Flora, cannot communicate with her.

be assumed, however, that Miles' encounter with evil is forever concluded. The story does not end here. The governess has learned a great deal, but her comprehension grows still more. By the time she meets Douglas, I think she understands these things: 1) that each of us is born with certain reserves of goodness and also with a weakness for evil, and free will to choose; 2) that the battle -between good and evil is an eternal, omnipresent one; 3) that each of us must work out his own salvation, and in fighting this good-evil problem must undergo a certain amount of temptation, trial, pain and sorrow; 4) that a person can be helped in this struggle, and can help some other people, with love, patience, and solicitude, up to a certain point; that beyond that point a person must rely upon his own reserves of goodness and the spiritual strength he has developed, for his final moral victory; 5) that these fundamental Christian truths, nearly 2,000 years old, are understood and observed by a virtuous minority, whose influence is transmitted by individuals beyond death and through time.

On a minor scale the governess' moral struggle has been paralleled by the childrens', more particularly Miles'. Crucial in their story is their silence, their refusal to confide or cOn'fess, their unspoken denial. J ames wishes to make it clear that evil is forever present and that all human beings, from the moment of birth, must contend with it. With Flora gone, Miles seeks the governess' company. Relieved by her love and patience, he is finally able to take the step immediately necessary for his salvation: to confess to her and to profess his faith in her. At the moment of the governess' personal triumph, Miles sees Quint's face at the window and is shocked into hysteria, because he has believed that by surrendering to the governess, he will no longer be sought by Quint. He is not damned; James clearly states that his heart has been "dispossessed." It should not

Groom on tip toes 22


To Our Readers: As a literary magazine, The Phoenix was created a few years ago to stimulate as well as to publicize creative works on this campus. Creative-wise, The Phoenix has been supported by a small, but ever-increasing number of students. As the new editor and staff assume our responsibilities for the coming year, it is the hope, the earnest wish, of each one of us that the number of contributors will continue to increase steadily. On a campus such as this, there are many channels into which one can direct his energies. Our belief is that energies channeled into creating literary and/or artistic works provide a more lasting and rewarding experience for the individual than some other more transient campus activities. Hence, we would encourage all those with an interest to contribute their work to the staff. In retrospect, this year has witnessed a slow but sure upward flight of The Phoenix. For a large part, this has been due to the diligent efforts of the out-going staff whom we would like to thank sincerely. Especially would we thank "Jeff" Greene and Renni Dillard, the Editor and Assistant Editor of the Old Regime, for their work, guidance, and advice in publishing this, our May issue. The continued rise of our "rare bird" depends upon you the student, as an interested reader and potential contributor. Our goals as a staff include a wider circulation of readers and the stimulation of more contributors. Right now is none too soon to begin that drawing, story, poem or criticism; and to waste the opportunity of an entire summer would indeed be a tragedy. The challenge is yours to meet. . . . Laura Jean Goss The Editor

PAUL DAY

LAURA JEAN GOSS, Editor

Clothier

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Phoenix - Summer 1961