were no more than drafts, “one way ofnsaying it.”nHow could it be otherwise? Completenessnrequires form, an impositionnof order upon the chaos of humannexperience. But modern poetsn—Hughes is hardly original in thisn—have retreated into the private worldnof their own senses, their personalnvision. They are capable of dropping anvivid phrase or flourishing a tellingnobservation, but nothing more. Thatnwholeness which gave a sense of organicnlife to a finished poem, thatnmade a set of verses as real as an otter,ninstead of just words about an ottern—all that is alien to the Hugheses andnAshberrys. It is small wonder thatnwhen lovers of modern poetry arenasked to name their favorite poets, theyncome up with a list of fashionablennames but can only rarely manage tonquote a line or two—not that we cannblame them. Most of modern verse isnno more memorable than a conversationnoverheard in a bus station. Thenappointment of Ted Hughes as PoetnLaureate may not mean much in thengreat order of historical movements,nbut as a symbol it means a great deal.nFor all the mistakes that have beennmade in selection, the laureateship isnstill the most distinguished appointmentnthat is given to a man of letters innthe English-speaking world. Thenchoice has an uncanny way of reflectingnthe world—American as well asnEnglish—we inhabit. The appointmentnof Southey and Tennyson and C.nD. Lewis were statements of a sort, asnwas the nonappointment of Kiplingnand Eliot. What is the message we cannread out of (or into) Hughes’s coronation?nPerhaps it is the final alienationnof poets from the world. There was antime when poets were beloved celebrities,nwhen Tennyson was mobbed onnthe streets of London as if he werenMick Jagger; even the late Sir John hadna great following among televisionnwatchers. In some ways, poets havenbeen the artist par excellence, the mennof imagination who cq.uld reach out tonmen in the street. Since the last war,nall that has changed. Ted Hughes willndo a good job as the high priest presidingnover the funeral rites of poetry,nwith (as he described it in an earlynpoem, “Famous Poet”) “the haggardnstony exhaustion of a near-finishednvariety artist.” ccn38/CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnA New Old VoicenThe Yale Literary Magazine is, as itsnmasthead proclaims, America’s oldestnliterary review. Founded in 1821, thenmagazine was published illegally atnfirst to allow Yale students the forbiddennpleasures of “baudy” writers likenShakespeare. The first number wasnsuppressed by the authorities, but betterndays lay ahead. From its precariousnbeginnings, the magazine evolved intona respected journal, which printednRudyard Kipling, Stephen VincentnBenet, Thornton Wilder, John DosnPasses, and Robert Penn Warren,namong others. However, The Yale LiterarynMagazine suffered from the ravagesnof the 60’s. It went bankrupt inn1969 and was sold to Yale Banner,nInc., a yearbook publisher that soonnlost interest in its acquisition and soldnit to Andrei Navrozov, a young Yalenalumnus and an emigre from the SovietnUnion, for the princely sum of $1.n(“It took this Russian idiot to buy it,”nhe said in a recent conversation. Henobviously saw it as a sort of BrooklynnBridge.) After a year of organizing thenAmerican Literary Society as the magazine’snnew sponsor, Navrozov begannin 1979 to write a new chapter in thenmagazine’s long history.nAnnouncing that they were interestednin “nothing sensational, ‘modernistic,’nscandalous, ‘explicit,’ or trendy,”nthe new editors set about creating anquarterly magazine dedicated to identifyingnand preserving the best of seriousnculture. “We sought^” Navrozovnexplained, “a compromise betweennthe Russian magazines of the turn ofnthe century (‘the post-horses ofnculture’)—lavish, expensive, and veryngood—and reality anc racticability.”nWhile some have ; used The YalenLiterary Magazine of trying to be thenVogue of the intellectual set, it hasnfeatured the work of impressive artistsnin recent issues: poetry by Robert Conquest,nPhilip Larkin, and JosephnBrodsky; fiction by Mircea Eliade andnVladimir Maramzin; paintings (metic­nnnTYPEFACESnulously reproduced) by Nicholas Hilliard,nWill Barnet, and FernandonBotero, as well as essays by LewisnLapham, A. L. Rowse, Ernst Gombrich,nThomas Molnar, Lev Navrozov,nand Roy Fuller. Some of thencontributors have been deliberatelynprovocative by pointing out, for example,nthe absence of critical standards atnthe New York Review of Books and thenNew York Times’ amazing ignorance ofncommunism. The powers that be atnYale had the predictable response tonthis assault on orthodoxy: they revivedntheir early-19th-century tactics of suppression.nFor the past two years, thenuniversity has held the magazine inncourt, trying to stop—or control—it.nIvy League schools, after all, can standnonly so much academic freedom.nCommenting on the litigation,nNavrozov remarked: “It’s been a tremendousneducation—and a tremendouslynrough one.”nStill, Navrozov is optimistic. Henbelieves that “the future belongs” tongeneral-interest, small audience magazinesnlike his. “The future belongs tonfragmentation, to a multitude of magazines,neach with a small but internallyndiversified audience.” Born as thenonly one of its kind. The Yale LiterarynMagazine is now the unlikely championnof diversity.nWhat the future holds for the Litnremains unclear. If it does manage tonsurvive its storm of litigation, it willnstill have the hard job of putting togetherna constructive aesthetic philosophy.nSuch a project will call for morenthan good contributors, splendidngraphics, and the criticism of protest.nIt will require time for mature reflection.nIt may eventually require somendegree of alienation from the oldnNortheastern elites which the Lit hasnbeen so successful in attracting to itsnstandard. We only hope that the missionnof the Yale Lit will not be permanentlynthwarted by the vagaries of duenprocess American style. ccn