After having spent thirty-five days in New Hampton reformatory, where he was placed for writing an obscene poem published in the Daily Worker, David Gordon, a student at the University of Wisconsin, has been released. His comparison of the American business world with a house of ill-fame was certainly in poor taste; but few who know the circumstances would consider the young poet deserving of so harsh a punishment. He was born in Russia, and has been raised in sections of New York City where the tenets of communism sway the public mind and make the more spirited active revolutionists. A better citizen and probably a better poet will result from the leniency of the Parole Commission.
The question of the best way in which citizens may be schooled is always a difficult one; but the training of a student will doubtless be more valuable than that of a prisoner. The indecency of "America" was a first offense, and certainly this quality of an early work is insufficient to mark his later productions prenatally with a similar stain.
The harsh sentence of the court might be construed as giving grounds for suspicion that the judges of the case sought to punish him not for the moral qualities of this, one of the first fruit from his pen, but for his revolutionary proclivities in general. This youngster in the field of literature was indeed beginning to regard himself as a martyr, so unjust did he feel the decision to be, and so the reversal of the original verdict is excellent policy on the part of the courts, which have long been accused of a violent ultra-conservatism; they are avoiding this accusation, and at the same time are putting a damper on any analogy, faint though it may be, to Sacco and Vanzetti and other so called victims of prejudice.