William Wheelwright '01 Writes Poetic History of Class Dinners
Ex-'Poon Head Toasts '01
"Metrical Memoirs," a series of poems dealing with the vicissitudes of the Class of 1901, has been distributed to members of the class this week. The verses are by William Bond Wheelwright '01, an ex-president of the Lampoon.
The first entry in the "Memoirs" consists of some after-dinner verses heard at the sophomore banquet in 1899. At intervals of roughly five years, it covers class dinners and reunions over a period of 52 years.
The new volume sets a new record for poetical class histories. The previous record-holder was "Poems for the Class of '29," by Oliver Wendell Holmes 1829. Holmes' poems began in 1851 and were produced annually until the 60th reunion of the class in 1889.
A strain that runs through the verse volume is one of complaint at overcrowding in the Yard. For instance, an excerpt from the year 1909 deals with Emerson Hall thus:
New buildings in the Yard arise
To Emerson a hall is reared--
Behold it, then pholosophize
'Tis homlier than we had feared.
A stanza in the 1951 verse likens "Lionel, Lehman, Littauer, Lamont" and several other buildings to "a litter of pups conceivably aired by Hollis and Stoughton!"
"Metrical Memoirs" goes through two world wars, a depression, the New Deal, and Income Taxes, with suitable expressions of despair. The central theme of the volume, however, in aptly summed up in the 50th reunion poem, 1951:
"By 'Kitty's' board and 'Copey's' sponge!
By Pierre's cigarette.
And 'Old John's' donkey cart. I swear ONE is the best Class yet!