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Wales, where Irene Harris penned these lines, may be thousands of miles from Shady Acre but this verse makes us seam next-door neighbors.

The Greatness of Silence

In God’s own world where Nature reigns
Alone in glory of her own,
My soul awaits with breathless strains
Towards a splendour all unknown.

No sound disturbs the peaceful day
Save Nature’s song of birds and bees.
We can but lift our hearts to pray;
What more can we desire but these?

So small we feel amidst it all
Counting as naught but atoms frail.
Waiting we hear sweet Nature’s call
In changing moods that never fail.

I stand alone with Nature’s gifts
The little birds on glinting wing.
My yearning heart with joy uplifts
Till I, too, feel that I must sing.

* * * *

Most appropriately the Anniversary Issue carries material by one of the team of Wales amateurs, Arthur and Irene Harris, whose publication, Interesting Items is in its 51st year of publication; which shows up LitNews for the teen-ager it is.

* * * *

Elizabeth A. Voight writes:

Willametta asks me to write a few lines about myself for her Literary Newsette. Well – I’m afraid I will make very dull reading. As you will recall, I learned about you people through the article in the Norfolk & Western Magazine. I am employed as secretary to the freight agent at Norfolk, where I have been since 1943. Much as it pains me to admit it, I am not young. My husband is in the shipping business and his hobby is “work.” He is not in the least interested in writing or printing, I’m sorry to say.

We live in an apartment, but have a summer cottage at the beach, where we spend some of our time in the summer. My husband tries to carry out nautical ideas in the decorations and general living set-up, so that we feel we are practically on a small boat at sea when we go to the cottage. That is a hobby in itself. We both enjoy concerts, plays, the ballet, etc., and see just about everything worthwhile that comes to Norfolk.

In addition to working and keeping house, I also help my husband with some of his work in the evening – so, you see I have very little time to devote to NAPA activities. However, I just love everything I have learned about it so far. I have always felt an interest in writing, but have never been able to adjust my life to the point where I could do much about it. Just being a member of NAPA makes me feel less frustrated.

I believe I could turn out as good work some of the things I have read, but most of it is far superior to anything I can do, and it amazes me that some of the material is used in a so-called “amateur” publication, when it is of much higher quality than a lot of professionally published stuff. I certainly get the feeling that you people in NAPA have a lot of fun; not only in your work, but in your friendships, your conventions, and endless letter writing.

Perhaps as time goes on, I’ll get up enough nerve to submit something, but for the present I think I’ll just coast along and get the “feel” of things. Willametta stated in one of her letters that new members can write things, get into the printing end of the hobby, or just read and enjoy the bundles. The latter is exactly what I am doing.

Drouth on De Ma’sh
by Mary J. S. Castleman

A thirsty guy
So dusty-dry
Appeared before a neighbor’s door,
Asked for a drink,
“Just anythink
To satisfy
A gullet, dry
As mummy dust on a sandy floor.”

The neighbor said
“I wish you had
Come sooner to share with my denizens
Before I poured
The last of my horde
Of alcohol
To vitriol
My coiled, tropical specimens.

Drink this if you’re sunk
Enough to dunk
Your thirst with reptiles till soberer.”
Said the drunk exuding gratitude,
“Since I’m not able
To read every label,
Pour a drum for me off’n the cobra, Sir.”

* * * *

From The New Yorker, Nov. 14, 1953:

“Next spring, two reservoirs in the huge new Delaware system will be ready to draw on, and a third will be ready early in 1954.”

Wonder what year they’re living in?

The Owl’s Song
by Florence G. Mann

The owl, they say, sings a foolish song
Of the witless words “To whit, to whoo”
While his eyes look wise in benevolent guise,
But I don’t believe it, do you?

For one dark night, as I asked myself
Why the prizes I won had been so few,
That old bird I heard in his voice so absurd
Answer plainly “You quit, you do!”

* * * *

Dora Moitoret introduces new member Maurice Peach of England with these few words which she forwards from a letter of his: “Printing is my main hobby (to be precise, it is also a part-time business with me, operating in a small way, of course) which I started in 1950 with a tiny 5×3½ hand press. I have now attained to the dignity of a 9×6 handpress. Maybe I’ll get a treadle press when I win a prize in a football pool. I made my way via the I.S.P.A. and Rag Hollins to B.A.P.A. where my criticisms of cons. (contributions) led to my being challenged to do better – my verse attempts are the result. Thence under pressure of the same Reg to A.A.P.A. and N.A.P.A. – the later by favour of Harold Segal who kindly paid my first year’s sub. – my second is due and I have asked Vic to fix it for me.

“I was among the BAPA members who convened by kind invitation of Vic and Rowena at Dugdale House in January. We enjoyed ourselves very much and young Carolyn captivated everyone. Vic put on a good cine show and the colour films of Cambridge were outstandingly lovely. The occasion was a most memorable one for me, as apart from meeting Vic, Rowena and family I also met, for the first time, Reg Hollins, with whom I have carried on a continuous correspondence since I started printing and who has invigorated my enthusiasm when it has waned. I also met most of the BAPA officers for the first time at this meeting where the attendance was as good as at many a BAPA Convention! I hope Vic and Rowena will find time to visit me sometime in the spring.”

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This is No. 354 April 26, 1954
Willametta Keffer
Shady Acre, Roanoke, Va.

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