IN mid-October the author, an associate professor of English, joined History Professor Jere Daniell '55 at a two-day Dartmouth Seminar in the foothills of the Berkshires. This was the fifth annual seminar for alumni on the theme of "The Nature of New England' (some eight or ten similar sessions are held around the country annually), and this time the faculty discussed small-town and rural New England in the period after the Civil War; the decline of New England as an economic and cultural center and its effect on the literature produced by such "regionalists" as Frost, Dickinson, Robinson, Wharton, and Metalious (Grace). The responses of the participants, says Professor Cook, ranged from resentment at what was perceived to be an assault on the image of 'the crusty Yankee farmer' and the 'white nun of Amherst' to delight in finding poets who were a reflection of real New England life, who wrote of specific deaths rather than DEA TH, the realities of a declining economy rather than DECLINE. This view of the darker side of the poets certainly disturbed those readers who had cherished the poets as proof that most modern poetry in its obsession with tragedy and failure, its 'violation of the rules of poetry,' was way off base. In short, it was an exciting exchange, one which I look forward to repeating."
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