REED HOME Gryphon icon
reed magazine logowinter 2008

Reed Mag Winter 2008

imageHave an opinion about an article in Reed magazine? Have a memory that you want to share? Email the editor.

Mitchell Hartman

Associate Editor
Aimée Sisco

Class Notes &
copy editor

Laurie Lindquist

Production Manager
Amy H. Taylor

Alumni News Editor
Robin Tovey '97

Development news editor
Matt Kelly

Graphic Designer
Chris Michel

Web Designer
Raymond Rodriguez




Mitchell Hartman photo

Last issue, I suggested in this space that readers listen to the stories of World War II veterans. Soon after the magazine landed in mailboxes, I got the opportunity myself, when Charles Hindman of Lake Oswego, Oregon, walked into our office with a well-worn manila envelope in his hand.

Hindman did not go to Reed, but his best friend growing up in Portland, Philip H. Carroll Jr., did. Midway through college, both men went off to war. In August 1944, Carroll sent a letter home to his mother, enclosing a poem he had written:

Blood—warm, red blood
from the veins of free men,
Melting the frozen snow
of foreign battlefields.
That is the price of Victory.

Sweat—the cold sweat of mortal fear
steaming under the tropical sun
of an uncharted jungle isle.
Sweat—from a fear that man was not
created to bear.
That is the price of Victory.

Tears—dry tears: from the eyes?
No! from the soul: tugging, straining
millions of heartstrings.
Love does not conquer here, dear mother.
His life was the price of Victory.

The blood, the tears, the pain, are not
just yours and mine.
The blight is universal: realize to-day
the World in its entirety is ill.
Great is the cost of Victory.

Beyond the reality of sweat, endless agony,
din of voices and thunder of cruel weapons.
Within the soul of man is audible
a sigh—now and then a sob.
God is at prayer—praying for Everyman
right or wrong.
There! Another sob. While blessing his children
God has wept.
That is the price of Victory.

Less than two months later, Philip Carroll was killed in a bombing run over Cologne, Germany. Carroll’s mother gave a copy of the poem to Hindman, and he’s kept it ever since.

Sometimes we can say in writing what we can’t find a way to say out loud. Certain Reedies (and their fellow travelers) have been singularly adept at this. In the following pages, we explore what a crowd of them—linguists and anthropologists and poets—made of postwar America. They include David (’39) and Kay French, Dell Hymes ’50, Philip Whalen ’51, Gary Snyder ’51, and Allen Ginsberg.

The latter two—Snyder and Ginsberg—road-tripped to Reed in February 1956 to give a poetry reading, and left a unique piece of postwar Americana behind: the first recording of Ginsberg reading “Howl.” Anne Wood Twitty ’59 later told an interviewer for the Reed Oral History Project that she could have gone to hear Ginsberg and Snyder read at Anna Mann Cottage, but she felt too “standoffish” toward that Beat crowd. She remembers attending a poetry reading by Mary Barnard ’32 instead. Barnard so inspired Twitty that she went on to write poems as well. Spread the word: poetry and Reed mix.

hartman image
—Mitchell Hartman, editor

reed magazine logowinter 2008