Books and the Culture Poems Fort Worth to the Pecos Honor Card & Other Poems, by Betsy Colquitt, Prefatory Note by Ralph J. Mills, Jr., 95 pp., Saurian Press \(Box A, $4.50 paper, $9.50 cloth. Betsy Colquitt in “Poetry and Post, Texas” writes: out of a high school writing contest what miracle is wrought except a poet? whose land is jackrabbits big as coyotes, mesquites with china roots, and dust bowling over dust through sun lanterns and stars lacquer the wide sky. he’s never seen a daffodil nor does Pecos flow like Avon, yet this marvelous boy manned of language visions his landscape whole: jackrabbits graced as unicorns roam these line’s where mesquites laurel their prickly legend George Hendrick was born in Erath County and now reads poetry and prose in Urbana, Illinois. His most recent book is Toward the Making of Thoreau’s Modern Reputation \(with Fritz drick, his wife, will soon publish On the Frontier: Dr. Hiram Rutherford in Illinois, 1840-1848. By George Hendricks and dust, sun, stars metaphor his universe, full of bad typing, worse spelling, yet overcome by poetry. sick of paltered lines on paltry passions, I find these lifting craft to heaven’s gate and ringing by his sight. it’s not enough to judge he’s won: he’s by God a poet, and Post and all West Texas can never be proclaimed again the same. From this poem alone we know she’s by God a poet, one who visions a landscape whole and who has, as Ralph J. Mills, Jr., points out in his eloquent introduction, mastered poetic diction. We know, too, that poets and writers, artists and musicians, do spring, almost inexplicably, out of the Posts of this world. She has captured the excitement of the discovery of a poet; we can only imagine that young poet’s road toward final achievement, surely to be far from his home, for Posts are traditionally deaf. A large part of Betsy Colquitt’s landscape stretches from Fort Worth to the Pecos, from the urban life she now leads to the lost small-town life of her relatives. In “Poetry and Post, Texas” she is a sensitive observer, but in “Cuptowels” she becomes a musing participant, aware of the ways of country life. Cuptowels, made from chickenfeed sacks, hang on her drying line; someone had spurned strictly utilitarian drying cloths and had embroidered on them “busy Dutch girls.” She concludes the poem: now on clothes lines bedecked with polyesters anonymous as detergents these hens beyond all lyeing parade as mighty shades bloodless and real over stitched and fabulous being, and summon by their keening lines marvel and life of all tumular story. Betsy Colquitt knows those buried lives on hardscrabble farms as well as she knows the decay, desolation, and desperation of Joyce’s Dublin, and she understands the hunger for beauty in Stephenville, Hico, and Comanche. She accepts and does not mock the Dutch girls on the feed sacks, and she accepts, without resort to Faulknerian rhetoric, the passing of a way of life. In “Honor Card” she burrows even deeper into the emotions, tragedy, and terrors of West Texas life. Here is the auspicious beginning: Five by seven, aged brown, it confers in fine penmanship privileges on Miss Eddie Young The Social Cause Calendar A PEACE PETITION Stewart Meacham and Sidney Lens are circulating a peace petition addressed to Reagan and Brezhnev calling on the U.S. and Russia to end the arms race and as a first step to stop developing nuclear bombs and missiles and “progressively, but quickly, destroy present stockpiles.” Sponsors: the Berrigans, Noam Chomsky, Ramsey Clark, William Sloan Coffin, Daniel Ellsberg, Dave McReynolds, I. F. Stone, and others. Copies of the petition: International Peace Petition, 1127 W. Division St., Fifth Floor, Chicago, 111. 60625. WOMEN IN TEXAS HISTORY After two years of research. an exhibit concerning 100 Texas women important in the history of the state opens a four-month stay at the Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio, May 10. Then it will go to Dallas, Amarillo, Austin, and Houston. For reservations for a “gala reception” pre-opening May 9, 7 p.m., in San Antonio, write Texas Foundation for Women’s Resources, PO Box 4800, Austin 78765. VIETNAM VETS’ EVENT Responding to the designation of May 8 as Vietnam Veterans’ Day by Gov. Clements, the Brotherhood of Vietnam Veterans announces a parade and rally in Austin 9:30 that day to honor Vietnam vets and promote Texas legislation to help the GI victims of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. 4419245. “THE TEXAS BLUES” A program and exhibit celebrating Mance Lipscomb, the blues singer, will be held May 2, 7:30 p.m., Joe Thompson Center, UT-Austin, under the title, “The Texas Blues,” sponsored by Barker History Center and the Center for African and AfroAmerican Studies, UT. 4711742. CINCO DE MAYO Celebrations, various, of the Mexican victory over French forces at Puebla on May 5, 1862. In Austin the UT Chicano culture committee, 4715653, holds a series of events May 2-8, music, Nita sales, and on May 8 an exhibit of low-riding cars, West Mall, UT. 11 a.m. SEXUALITY WORKSHOP Adolescent girls and their mothers meet on Mother’s Day weekend, May 8-10, at Camp Texlake on Lake Travis for information and dialogue about human sexuality. $10 per person covers four meals, lodging, materials. Advance registration closes May 6. Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood, and Camp Fire, NURSES’ BENEFIT WALK-A-THON Texas Nurses Assn. Dist. 5 on May 9 sponsors a Walk-a-Thon in Austin to benefit nurses’ education and safe nursing practice. 4430558. TEXAS CO-OP CONFERENCE A statewide week-end conference for those interested in co-ops, beginners and veterans alike, May 23-24 at College House Co-op in Austin. Sample topics, starting food-buying clubs; bookkeeping/accounting politics of food; other co-op markets; outreach and publications; solar energy; education resources. Featured guest, Jim Hightower, president, Texas Consumers Assn. Sponsor, Texas Federation of Cooperating Communities, PO Box 7822, Austin 78712 \(4742026, mealticket. 22 MAY 1, 1981
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