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Poems Southwest Poems Southwest, edited by A. Wilbur Stevens, Prescott College Press, Arizona, 1968, 89 pp., $6.50. College Station In recent years dozens of regional poetry anthologies have been produced because various English professors with college presses at their disposal have issued calls to their friends for poems “that represent our Great Region.” These English professors then edit the manuscripts received by selecting at least one effort from each respondent, the first initial of whose last name determines its order of appearance. As might be expected, the results usually resemble the back shelves of a second-hand store in the low rent district of Wichita, Kansas, and their perusal is just about rewarding. Poems Southwest is a rare exception in two respects. Although its editor, A. Wilbur Stevens, followed the usual pro 12 The Texas Observer cedures in obtaining and editing manuscripts, someone working with the college press at his disposal evidently believed that the package was as important as the contents. From the type faces selected to the desert tones of the dust jacket, the visual impact of this book is aesthetically one with the poetry contained. Secondly, and rarest of all, Mr. Stevens’ friends can write poetry. As is true of all good poetry, this Southwestern poetry has roots in a particular locale in this case, the living desertbut the regional dialect is used to speak of universal themes. There is a snake, according to L. W. Michaelson, “found only at the bottom of the Grand Canyon,” which serves as “decorative evil to match the land’s attractive good.” There is barbarism in our Southwest, but an Eden of unrelieved virtue, its poets argue, would be more hellish yet. And in this barbaric beauty there is more than break from moral boredomthere is wisdom. The wisdom not of discourse but of being. Witter Bynner’s horn-spiked toad becomes “a Hindu Sage” one with his universeas perhaps has Mr. Bynner himself since his death in New Mexico last month. “The Vultures of Walnut Canyon” illustrate for J. D. McGehee the “effortless illusion of ease . . . infinitely professional” of such wisdoma wisdom possessed most purely in the Southwest by flying serpents. The work of seven Texas poets is included in the anthology, that of W. H. Acker, English instructor, North Texas State University; Haldeen Braddy, graduate faculty member, University of Texas at El Paso; Robert Burlingame, University of Texas at El Paso; Judson Crews, child welfare worker, El Paso; R. M. Russell, English professor, St. Mary’s University; Arthur M. Sampley, English professor, North Texas State; and J. Edgar Sammons, University of Texas at Austin. Even the Texas poets, who prefer to write of Etna, God, the Beatles, and other things non-HemisFair, draw the parable made clear by Mr. Burlingame that life exists for no purpose but to live, and that the “animal within” should not be tracked and killed, but wi th Mr. Braddy Did you EVER hear of an insurance company … which allows its CLAMS to be ARBITRATED! We do! Specifically, Part Five of our Special Union Labor Disability policy states that .. . “In the event of a disagreement between the Insured and the Company on any question arising under the policy, the matter under dispute may, on the request of the Insured in writing to the Executive Offices of the Company be referred to a Board of Arbitration, said Board to consist of three persons, one to be selected by the Insured, one by the Company, and a third selected by these two. The award or decisions of the arbitrators, or a majority of them, if not tuuuninous, shall be binding upon both the Company and the Insured.” This provision is in the policy that pays you $200 per month when you are disabled and unable , to work due to sickness or accident. Something else. Ours is one of the few Unionized insurance companies in the United States. Our employees are represented by Local 277 of the Office and Professional Employees International Union. And we’re proud of it! A7′ MERI CAN INCOME LIFE Executive Offices, P. 0. Box 208, Waco, Texas BERNARD RAPOPORT President