The Golden Whales of California

Reprinted from the Wednesday Book Page of the Chicago Daily News of May 21, 1919. Henry Blackman Sell, Literary Editor. Chicago: Chicago Daily News, ca. 1919.

Broadside. Broadside. Approx. 16" x 7". Poem in two parts printed on the front side. The paper has been folded and the lower folded section detached. The broadside has been repaired with archival tissue on the verso of the paper. The broadside was folded for mailing and was addressed to Mr. Burges Johnson, Vassar College Poughkeepsie, New York. Accompanying the broadside is an inscribed note from Lindsay - "Greeting to the victor from Nicholas Vachel Lindsay." From wikipedia: Nicholas Vachel Lindsay (/ ve t l l nzi/; November 10, 1879 – December 5, 1931) was an American poet. He is considered a founder of modern singing poetry, as he referred to it, in which verses are meant to be sung or chanted. Good. Item #16139

From the Poetry Foundation:

The Golden Whales of California, a 1920 collection, is a notable example of the aural quality of Lindsay's work. Clement Wood wrote in the New York Call: "'The Golden Whales' is a book thoroughly jolly and thoroughly fit for chanting in typical Vachelese. His idiom, as well as his whimsical exaggeration, roars on every page." Though poet Amy Lowell and E. B. Reed felt that Lindsay began to parody himself in this volume, others felt he had reached a new level of excellence in his craft. O. W. Firkins related in Review: "In this writer there have always been two elements: the poet, and what I shall unceremoniously, but not disrespectfully, call the urchin. . . . The poet and the urchin lived apart; they could not find each other. They have found each other, in my judgment, in the 'Golden Whales,' and their meeting is the signal for Mr. Lindsay's emergence into the upper air of song."

From the Vassar College Encyclopedia:

In his book Campus Versus Classroom (1946), academic innovator, long-time Manhattan publisher and—between 1915 and 1926—member of the Vassar faculty, Burges Johnson offered a mocking example of the “sounds of education machinery” and of inaccessible and detached “pedagogs”:

Education is that process by which accretions to the efferent speech patterns and the contentual and potential mentality of preadolescence are developed by attention to the howness and whichness and whyness of objective experiences, as they are correlated to concomitants in establishing with satisfyingness the fixitivity of the norm and the preponderant responses of the neurones, assuming maximum feasible self-direction with accrescent maturization; and when that is attended to, let us hope they will not fall on the buttered side.

During his time at Vassar, Johnson worked enthusiastically to advance education, encouraging student autonomy and initiative, founding the college’s Bureau of Publication and continuously challenging and seeking to improve the effectiveness of higher education.

Price: $200.00

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