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puttering light in the leaves

...(except I’ve tried to cut it short) : “SECTION 9, EXHIBIT K. ON POETS’ PUTTERING light in the leaves are attacked with an ...

OCR confusion involving two letters to the editor, adjacent columns :
“Apropos of the Allen Survey of the University of Wisconsin” (from Uncle Silas, Madison, August 1) and “Leonardo da Vinci” (from William Rankin, Roselle Park, N.J, June 21),
at The Nation vol. 101, no. 2617 (August 26, 1915) : 260

the former, entire —
“Apropos of the Allen Survey of the University of Wisconsin.”
“To the Editor of The Nation:
      Sir: Here’s a useful rhyme for those who’ve read good Dr. Allen’s prose:
      An expert in Efficiency (don’t think good Dr. Allen he), now having proved by rigid rules all educators blundering fools, determined deftly to proclaim all poets very much the same. Here is a page from his report (except I’ve tried to cut it short): “Section 9, Exhibit K. On poets’ Puttering and Delay: The Case of Mr. Thomas Gray. This poet piddled seven years with ink-pot, foolscap, books, and shears; and frayed his breaches past all patching whilst his slow Elegy was hatching. Seven years — an inefficient Gray. I had my clerk the other day (an average lady as to rhyme) write out for me said Elegy by up-to-date stenography; and seven minutes was her time.”
      O Expert, you and I, we two, know all there is to know, we do: I know that you’re a chump at best, and you—O you know all the rest.
      Uncle Silas.
      Madison, August 1.


  1. Chapter 8, “The Allen Survey and the Central Board,” in the The University of Wisconsin, A History : 1848-1925 Vol. 2 (1949) : 267-294
  2. Gary Cook, “George Herbert Mead and the Allen controversy at the University of Wisconsin,” in Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 43:1 (February 2007) : 45-67
    pdf available via author’s page at academia.edu (department page, too)

9 May 2022