Doomed Raceby Dennis Murphy

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  • Doomed Race by Dennis MurphyReview by: Mary FortnerThe Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Mar., 1943), pp. 83-85Published by: Arkansas Historical AssociationStable URL: .Accessed: 14/06/2014 11:34

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    cause H. H. has been "souphened on the jury" which eventually sent a neighbor to the "penatentury", she didn't need to be "polijectic" about her spelling. Her confidence in her ability to spell any word in her vocabulary is one of the joys of her unaffected manner.

    Going To God's Country will not make literary his- tory, but it will provide a pleasant (and perhaps profitable) hour of reading for students of pioneer days in Oklahoma.

    Arkadelphia High School Amy Jean Greene

    Doomed Race. By Dennis Murphy. (Philadelphia: Dor- ranee and Co. 1941. Pp. 95. $1.75.)

    Congratulations to those who know the real moun- taineers - remnant of the true Anglo-Saxon race - because an authentic interpreter has arisen on the literary horizon to reveal them in appropriate language full of that rural melancholy, sincere honor, refreshing simplicity, and proud independence that mark the annals of a people whom the leveling forces of society are slowly amalgamating into the general cultural pattern of American life.

    If Richard Burton's definition of poetry - "melody plus rythm plus emotion" - is correct, Dennis Murphy has the key. Being the seventh son of a hill-farmer with ten children, he handles the mountaineers with an under- standing sympathy - neither glorifies nor caricuatures them - that bespeakes the true son of his own people.

    The older Ozark settlers live in this book of fifty- eight poems divided into sonnets, portraits, monologues, songs, and ballads ranging from seriotfs to humorous and revealing keen observations, human interest, and famil- iarity with the oft-misinterpreted race. Each part is in- troduced by an ink illustration of excellent craftsmanship where he captures characterization without cartoon.

    Prefacing sonnets is the furrowed face of the "simple mountaineer who cleared frontiers with glinting axe". In the dedication "To the Ozark People", the poet says:

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    "Who will pause to say brave threnodies appropriately theirs ?"

    Portraits, pictured by Ozark Mother in sunbonnet, be- gins:

    "You would have liked my mother. She was a brave woman,

    A kind of poem." The seventh stanza ends with:

    "And so I ask of you, What is more lovely than a poem written

    Line by line in a brave life?"

    Monologues has a sketch of the Country Doctor with cob-pipe and whiskers - forerunner of thirteen word pic- tures of courageous personalities going bravely on with a purpose in life without complaints but who brook no interference with their rights without a comeback. The last monologue is a rollicking "scream", titled "An Oz- arker Slightly Exaggerates about a Tornado."

    "At El Dorado, Arkansas A young tornado jumped the law.

    * * * It kicked the traces near Hot Springs,

    * * * In broncho fury

    Had to descend in ole Missoury, * * *

    "Stripped each human and left him bare That's why wimmen go barefoot there".

    * * * "Tuck all the paint off house and fence And none uv it aint been putt on since."

    Read it for a good laugh. The twenty "songs" have a frontispiece of "An Ozark

    Singer" churning. There mature word pictures have sure- ness of touch and artistic record in such language as "light as a thistle, clear as dew".

    The "ballads" are clear-cut word pictures significant of the older order with ideas and emotions mostly serious.

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    The suggestive drawing sketches the proverbial Missouri mule hitched to the "Store" porch with hound, cabin, and mountains in the background.

    Mr. Murphy is an artist, musician, forceful lecturer, and reader of his own poems. Demand for his letcure-re- citals is growing. He responds gladly when not too busy in Southwest Missouri College at Cape Girardeau, where, in his own words, he purses "the teaching profession which I love tremendously".

    As said by Edwin Markham: "Dennis Murphy is on the way". Little Rock Mary Fortner

    Our Landed Heritage. The Public Domain. 1776- 1936. By Roy M. Robbins. (Princeton: Princton Univer- sity Press. 1942. Pp. x, 450. $5.00.)

    In 1935 all of the nation's public larids were with- drawn by executive order from private entry. The old frontier had finally passed. The time thus being ripe "for a synthesis on the history of the public lands of the United States," Roy M. Robbins has prepared Our Landed Heritage, a carefully documented work representing years of painstaking research.

    The author feels that three agents have played the major roles in the transformation of the American frontier. First came the individual pioneer, aided by the continuing efforts of the Bentons and the Greeleys, to liberalize the national land policy. In time the pioneer was pushed aside by the corporative wealth of the railroad builder and the cattle king. In turn the corporation, when its venality could no longer be endured, was forced to yield to the government conservationist.

    In describing the activities of the developers of the West, Professor Robbins has as his purpose "to integrate American land history with the other forces that have shaped our civilization". The scholar who is already con-

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    Article Contentsp. 83p. 84p. 85

    Issue Table of ContentsThe Arkansas Historical Quarterly, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Mar., 1943), pp. 1-95Front MatterHistory of a Land Grant in Arkansas [pp. 1-11]Governor Conway's Analysis and Proposed Solution of the Sectional Controversy, 1860 [pp. 12-19]Some Little Rock Doctors and the Conditions under Which They Practiced [pp. 20-31]Legends of Arkansas [pp. 32-38]Ozark or Masserne [pp. 39-42]Daniel Harvey Hill, Southern Propagandist [pp. 43-50]DocumentsSome Spanish Letters Written from Arkansas Post [pp. 51-57]Letters of an Arkansas Confederate Soldier [pp. 58-70]

    Book ReviewsReview: untitled [pp. 71-73]Review: untitled [pp. 74-75]Review: untitled [pp. 76-77]Review: untitled [pp. 78-80]Review: untitled [pp. 81-83]Review: untitled [pp. 83-85]Review: untitled [pp. 85-87]

    News Notes of Historical Interest [pp. 88-93]Personal Notes [pp. 94-95]Financial Statement [p. 96-96]