The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 64
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
significant expressions are used: chains, prisons, censorship, per-
secutions, mental chains, and rebellions. In contrast Texas is
praised for its freedom of speech and religion, its democratic
institutions, the right to vote, and the opportunity for progress.
In their writings these young persons show a tendency to
philosophize. This probably developed from the fact that they
spent long hours alone, out in the prairie or field, going about
their daily tasks. They read few books, mainly classics, and they
had ample time to think about the contents. In their lonely
hours, these young folks then tried to find laws that explained
conditions in their environment. In this effort they had the guid-
ance of well educated parents. Such a situation seems to explain
why so many of the articles and poems conclude with a general-
ization, a moral, or a bit of philosophy.
In studying the style of the writings, one soon observes the
number of Texas words with an untranslatable atmosphere, such
words for instance as Bowie knife, farm, teamster, prairie, store,
creek bottom, and pen-in the sense of a cow pen. The easy use
of French words, such as frappant, fontaine, revanche, and revier,
indicates the influence of the brilliant court of the later Bourbons
at the small capitals of Central Europe. At the time the Latins
emigrated, it was still considered a sign of culture to speak French
or at least to use French expressions. Such expressions found their
way into the Prairie Blume and are a characteristic of its style.
It is evident that some of the earlier settlers could give their
children only elementary schooling here in Texas, for in a few
cases the handwriting and spelling are poor, but the thought,
nevertheless, is usually worth while, original, and arresting. On
the other hand, complex sentence structure and excellent diction
indicate good education, good reading, and contact with cul-
Approximately half of the contributions to the Prairie Blume
are poems. That they appear so frequently and are so well written
is no doubt partly to be ascribed to the influence of the mentor
of the group, Johannes Romberg, a poet and philosopher, whom
Selma Metzenthin-Raunick in her book, Deutsche Schriften in
Texas, designates as the outstanding poet of the earlier period.
3Selma Metzenthin-Raunick, Deutsche Schriften in Texas (San Antonio, 1935),
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/70/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.