A Scholar Speaks To Students

Stir-Change-Create: Poems and Essays in Contemporary Mood for Concerned Students, by Kenneth L. Pike (Eerdmans, 1967, 164 pp., $2.65), is reviewed by Elva McAllaster, professor of English, Greenville College, Greenville, Illinois.

To read Pike’s collection leaves me feeling a little as I felt after seeing a documentary film on Henry Moore at work on his sculptures, or after looking at a photo essay on Picasso in his studio. Here is a powerful mind engrossed in the processes of its own workshop. Professor Pike’s “studio” is of course that of linguistic analysis rather than of sculpture, but when a mind like his is willing to open the studio door, it is fascinating for the rest of us to look inside.

The name of Kenneth L. Pike is well known in his scholarly field; he is an eminent and respected professor at the University of Michigan. The name of Kenneth L. Pike is also well known in the missionary world, since he is a veteran in translation projects of the Wycliffe Bible Translators. In the poems and essays collected here, the reader meets and is inspired by both of these Pike selves. Professor Pike obviously delights in being the thoroughgoing linguistic scholar who pries open esoteric secrets of language analysis and conducts doctoral examinations over arduous research. He also delights in being the thoroughgoing Christian, who opens his own life to the grace of God and opens the Scriptures to university audiences or to primitive peoples. As scholar and as Christian, his mood is one of zest, of aliveness, of exuberance.

The subtitle suggests the scope and intentions of the book. There are brief articles written for His magazine, chapel talks now edited into essays, fragments of autobiography, and ...

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