November 18, 1944

Nov. 18th

When the Committee saw the Commandant about an increased ration, he told them “You do not realize that Japan is fighting a total war – America and England are not. Every man, woman & child in Japan is fighting the war for our very existence – We do not care, therefore, whether you live or die.”

Frank at any rate!

The rumor about the relief ship is current again – Supposedly it is due next Monday (20th). And the rumor continues that there will be a representative of the International Red Cross

[Note: leaves numbered 153 and 154 are missing with no break in text]

[155]

on board – If the relief supplies do arrive hundreds of lives will be saved –

I have just finished the critical study of an anthology of poetry by Filipinos which a Mr. Siler wished to have published after the war. The poems (some 700) are in English – I thought 105 might be considered worthy of inclusion in such an anthology –

These poets are writing in a language for which there is no tradition in the P.I. Therefore, they use words which we would never use – E.g. multiplicious, etc. – They do not handle abstract themes at all well, and the best poems are the short lyrics dealing with some simple phase of daily life – the poems of Floresca are an exception – Anero, Aguado, Floresca, Tarrosa, Zeichieta – all write very well – and there is one – Estoncurbo – who does a remarkable job with the triplet – but this is virtuosity, not genius – Aguado’s “Pastoral” is one of the best –

How I wish I had my books and music here – And all of you to enjoy them with me –