Perhaps the poems and stories that make up the first number of the Advocate have been slumbering since last winter in the editor's drawer. Perhaps the authors have purposely repressed their personal feelings and opinions and aspirations and have written in a detached spirit of "Art for Art's Sake". Yet one is tempted to assume that these are the latest products of the writers pens, and to seek in them evidences of the thoughts and activities and experiences of a busy summer holiday. What have the editors seen, what have they learned, what have they felt, since their release from these halls in June?
The poets have been out-doors a good deal, chiefly at night. They have seen the moon, and one of them has clutched at it. They have observed the sea, and one of them has found it loving, fickle, faithless, wanton, cruel, bitter. They have noted sundry meteorological phenomena, and recorded them in lines that, to quote one of the salt water singers, "Dance on in wild unrythmic glee".
The prose writers have been disillusioned. They have discovered that strangers whom one meets at night--like the poets they have been staying up late--are prone to deceive; and that even young ladies who invite young gentlemen to week-ends are not to be trusted implicitly.
None of them apparently have been to Plattsburg, none of them has been in the woods or on a ranch or out at the Exposition; and only one--a candidate--has read the newspapers. The war, which has filled the thoughts of most of us, has not troubled the Advocate board since it brought unexpected notoriety to the paper last spring. The all-absorbing topic is relegated to the book-review section and to one little poem at the very end of the number.
It is not an uninteresting number, nor badly written--far from it. The poets have ease and imagination, and are by no means lacking in musical sense; the story-writers are fluent and entertaining; the editorials, deploring Harvard architecture and commending smokers, glass flowers and the Scholarship Service Bureau, are admirably expressed and sound beyond cavil. But barring that final sonnet, none of it, to drop into the vernacular, "proves anything." To Mr. E. C. MacVeagh '18 we owe our thanks for demonstrating that it is not impossible for an undergraduate to write good verse and still to remain aware of the big things that are happening in the world he lives in.