More Critiques of the Writing of Mabel Law Atkinson

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Snow Longley Housh's Comments on Inviolate Eden

I have looked your book over thoughtfully and read many of the selections. What impressed me at first was that almost all the poems had already been published and many had won honors. Next, your great variety of patterns, all used with artistry. I liked the arrangement of the index. It gives the reader a choice of subject matter without going through pages. The publishing is also very well done and the binding is beautirul. I did not realize you were going to have such a beautiful, dignified book. Your poems are surely beautiful. I'll mention some of my favorite favorites and tell you why I like them. (I'm supposed to be a critic.)

  • "Portrait of Mother" (p. 28), sensuous detail.
  • "Beyond the Final Curtain" (p. 29), for the thought and beautiful imagery.
  • "Our Mother Was Young" (p. 30), use of refrain (varied in the last stanza) also imagery.
  • "Legacy" (p. 30), an original treatment of a death scene and virtual making of a will.
  • "The School on the Hill" (p. 33), a poem with original treatment of its theme, full of life and vigor.
  • "Poetry" (p. 45), striking use of imagery and onomatopoeia.
  • "Smiling He Comes" (p. 49), excellent balance of run-on and end-stopped lines in blank verse.
  • "Would I Find Bluebirds" (p. 13), original treatment of a familiar poetic theme.
  • "Iris in Gethsemane" (p. 17), original in thought
  • "Twelve Ride to Church" (p. 25), a beautiful use of homely material enhanced by exquisite form.

I could name many more. You are a born poet, but patiently work toward perfection of artistry.

Mildred Nye Dewey's Appraisal of My Work

As the editor of Midwest Chaparral magazine, the official journal of Midwest Federation Chaparral Poets, I have read and handled much of the poetry of Mabel Law Atkinson and watched her steady advancement in the literary field and noted the high quality of her poems. Her poetry is read and enjoyed by poets across the land, and she appears in many all-poetry magazines as well as other types of top magazines. She has won high awards and received the acclaim of critics, for her poetry. She is considered to be one of the best writers in the MFCP. —Mildred Nye Dewey.

Comments by Mabel's Sister, Minerva

Say, your story in the Relief Society Magazine is profoundly interesting, and held me spellbound until I finished it. I do appreciate your style and fluency, and vocabulary, etc., and your wonderful portrayal of character. I can just see those characters move and speak and act. You're marvelous. —Minerva, your Sis.

Rexford Sharp's Comments on My Poetry

The poetry of Mabel Law Atkinson shows universality of thought, and the depth of her philosophical and religious understanding is very great. This is due to a highly developed intuitional insight. Her poems therefore have wide appeal.

She has a fine mastery of the technical side of her art. Her creative power is prolific and many are the poems she has written. I rate her as one of the finest bards I know.

Rexford Sharp
The American Bard
529 1/2 Glenrock Ave.
Los Angeles 24, Calif.

Comments of Marjorie Elizabeth Sharp, Editor, Word Portraits, The American Bard

Mabel Law Atkinson's poetry shows great depth of insight into all phases of human nature, a sensitive understanding, and love of beauty. Her imagery and choice of words is fresh and unusual. Her poetry flows in natural, spontaneous grace, and yet is perfect technically in meter and rhyme, a difficult fete to accomplish. —Marjorie Elizabeth Sharp

Family Letter Received from the Word Weavers

Dear Mabel Law Atkinson— Your Word Weaver sisters wish to send you greetings, appreciation, and love this new year—1954. We admire your poems, your promptness, your sincerity, your thoughts and genuinely love you for your wonderful self and bravery. Each signature is an "Amen." —Georgia Belle Perry

With much love and gratitude for your brave, joyous poems. Let's have another Shelley-inspired poem. —Stella Ruess, President

Just to add a bit to greeting you with love. —Anais J. Allen

Looking ahead to a happy New Year with you in Word Weavers. —Cora May White

Best wishes for your New Year. —Grace Marshall

I do not have the privilege of knowing you personally, but I have enjoyed seeing some of your work, and appreciated a card from you at Christmas time, and I thank you. —Winifred Nelson

I love your poems and wish you could be with us today 1-15-54. Love, Ethel Parrish

Dear Lady, I wish you could be here at Mrs. Nelson's and see how truly you are a loved member of this group. —Georgia's little big sister, who just comes to enjoy and appreciate. Love always—Grace Nies

Dear Mabel Law Atkinson: When I read your "Faint Whisperings" I knew you for a kindred spirit. I will quote you two lines of mine in proof:
"Ah, isn't it strange when we are met
Whose souls remember, though minds forget."
—Adaline Hillgrove Yoder

Other signatures: Betty Bennett; Xale Dimock

All of us are all praise for your poem and Frances' essay. I almost cried as I read them! —Georgia Belle Perry

Doris Owen's Comments on Inviolate Eden

I am grateful for the privilege of reading and re-reading this book of enriching, thought-provoking, lovely poems. Some I especially love to read are: "Inviolate Eden," "Let Her Dream," "Step Lightly Night," "Betrayed," "The Goddess Speaks," "Letter from Korea," "Comparison." —Doris Owens

Margarette Ball Dickson's Comments on My Work

Mabel Law Atkinson is a real artist in words. She is a perfectionist in verse writing and keeps polishing each facet till it gleams. Her sonnets are gems and her narrative poems are such as bring poetry back to the people. Her themes are varied, one to suit every mood. Through her perfect rhythms and well contrasted rhymes one finds the consecrated, zestful, understanding mother, neighbor, friend and true Christian witness. She is a consistent award winner. —Margarette Ball Dickson, School of Writing, Staples, Minnesota. Given 10-16-56.

Rosetta K. Wolff's Comments on Snow Longley Housh (inspired by my poem)

It gives me untold pleasure to read the poem "Poet-Teacher (Snow Longley Housh)," for she was my teacher in "Mechanics of Poetry" at UCLA Extension Division in 1936. A finer person you could not find anywhere. Her advice to the members in the class was "Never to be satisfied with the mediocre." —Written to Rexford Sharp of The American Bard.—Apr. 20, 1956

Mrs. Claire Boyer, Poetry Critic

(Comments on my Poem "Perfect Prelude," which won second place in Idaho Writer's League Annual Contest, Oct. 1956)

This is equal to Yeates "When You Are Old." ... This flows exquisitely! ... Excellent! Perfect! ... May I have a copy of this? —Mrs. Claire Boyer, 1710 Herbert Ave., Salt Lake City, Utah, Judge of contest

Grace Pratt

A truly beautiful poem. I too would love to have a copy. —Grace Pratt, R #2, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

Olive Burt Gives First Place to "Why Peter Puddles Laughed"

I gave first place to "Why Peter Puddles Laughed" because it was written to entertain, and it was entertaining. I do not know whether a pet crane could be as tame as Peter Puddles seemed to be, but I do know that a duck can be a find pet—my son had one that almost talked!—and so I accept the crane. The mix-up between the sexes of cats, birds, etc., is always amusing to children, and I felt that this story was truly a story to amuse and entertain and it did so. I think the story would be improved by a little clearer explanation at the start that Peter was a pet crane— we do not know that till half way down the first page, and I, for one, was a bit confused until then. —Mrs. Olive W. Burt, 34 Haston Place, Salt Lake City, Utah, Judge of Juvenile Stories in IWL contest, Oct. 1956. (This story is a chapter in a book of Peter Puddles I am writing; that is the reason greater emphasis was not placed on introducing Peter.

Comments on "Only Sage and More Sage"

(Won Hon. Mention in Adult Story in IWL contest Oct. 1956.)

This should sell to Christian Home, Progressive Farmer or one of the second-class magazines. These "old time" stories have a lovely flavor; and the word pictures painted here are good.

Story-wise it is nicely handled; we have two main characters; their problem; and our last line reveals that her own efforts brought about the solution. These story-requirements, coupled with good characterizations; this "different" settings; all swiftly and cleanly told, makes for good writing. I believe this will sell.

Good luck with very fine writing.—