7 / Threads on the Mountain, Pamela Schoenewaldt 41 / The Painter, Mike Lamb 87 / Sixteen Jackies, Lance Olsen 99 / On the Way to the Dewberry Gardens, Charlotte Forbes 155 / The Gift of Her Hands, Jean Hanson 177 / Panther in the Woods, Karen Bjorneby
P O E T R Y
21 / Six Poems, Sherman Alexie 31 / A Byzantine Nobleman Composing
Verses, trans. by Aliki Barnstone, C. P. Cavafy 32 / Quartet for Judy, David Ray 37 / To an Old Poet, trans. by William Baer, J. L. Borges 38 / Footnote, Alice Friman 75 / Ogre, Anna Maggiore 76 / Two Poems, Diana O'Hehir 80 / Pythagoras, Zoë Anglesey 82 / Meridian, Mia Leonin 84 / Of Storytelling, Jayanta Mahapatra 141 / Night Heron, Taylor Stoehr 142 / Three Poems, Stuart Friebert 146 / Billy Goat with Alzheimer's, Tim Skeen 147 / Three Poems, Warren Slesinger 150 / Two Poems, Laurie Klein 152 / Two Poems, Simon Perchik
67 / High, Low, Everywhere You Go, Janet Burroway 119 / An Infinity of Particular Things, Jodi Varon
R E V I E W S
193 / H. L. Hix, "The Dream of an Adequate Language":
A review of essay books by Brenda Miller and
John D'Agata (editor). 198 / Jonathan Holden, "Two American Books":
A review of poetry books by B. H. Fairchild
and Leslie Adrienne Miller.
A R T W O R K
Renée Stout, mixed media assemblages, paintings, sculptures,
front cover & pages, 6, 20, 40, 65, 66, 74, 81, 98,
116-118, 154, 174-176, 192.
(Interview with Renée Stout on page 53.) Andy Warhol, painting, "Sixteen Jackies," page 86. 201 / New Programs: New Letters on the Air 202 / Visitors' Log: The New Letters Guest Book 203 / Celebrations: News From Our Authors 205 / NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS 210 / Index to Volume 69 (numbers 1-4)
S T A F F
Editor: Robert Stewart
Administrative Director: Betsy Beasley
Assistant Managing Editor: Aleatha Ezra
Producer, New Letters on the Air: Angela Elam
Assistant Producer: Leslie Koffler
Readers: Thomas Russell, Karen Subach, William Trowbridge
Student Staff: Valerie Benz, Regan Cochran,
Katie Gigax, Stuart Smith, Amy Thomas
Past Editors: Alexander Cappon, David Ray, James McKinley
New Letters website: newletters.org. Webmaster: Joe Short
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NEW LETTERS (ISSN 0146-4930)
Copyright 2003. The Curators of the University of Missouri.
VOLUME 69 NUMBER 4
Printed in the United States
Electronic edition published by Cultural Heritage Langauge Technologies and funded by the National Science Foundation International Digital Library Program. This text has been proofread to a high degree of accuracy. It was converted to electronic form using typesetters source files.
Editor's Note (Robert Stewart)
"There are those minds who cannot feel people, or cannot understand people of different points of view, and who are profoundly moved only by some ideological theme. Those persons I think can never become great novelists."
- Pearl S. Buck, The University Review (New Letters), 1936
I sometimes like to read aloud Henry V's St. Crispin's Day speech, which, as Shakespeare has it, roused English troops to defeat the French, on French soil, October 25, 1415, at Agincourt. Were I about to go into battle, that speech would work for me, I like to believe; and I'd be grateful for it. The means of salvation for a soldier is victory, and victory likes things simple. Instead of air support, Henry had archers.
This past Memorial Day, versions of that speech gave many of us the prescribed glow. Yet on TV, one could not ignore certain contrasts: On one channel, fighter jets soared to the National Anthem, and "Hometown Heroes" saluted; on another channel, Oliver Stone's Platoon had soldiers fragging their comrades, some gone virtually insane.
I came of age during the Vietnam War and remember Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara's version of Henry V's speech, in the form of an article in Reader's Digest. He detailed, with considerably less flare, the "domino" theory; later, in 1996, he published a memoir apologizing for leading us down the wrong road, over and over. He wanted his book to be more history than tragedy, though. Tragedy has a personal bite. Yet we know that each generation must strip its sleeves, show its scars; and writers must tell the stories.
What I love about the writing and art in this issue is their lack of presumption, lack of ideology. Imagine the poems of Diana O'Hehir, how they live: "Last night I dreamed my hands were back." Imagine a more intense poem about war than Anna Maggiore's "Ogre." You can't. Each poem, story, essay, seeks what Renée Stout seeks in her art, the personal point of view. A fortune-cookie message seems to say, along with St. Paul to the Galatians, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." On Memorial Day, we sow a bit of glory and a bit of death. Art seeks another choice. In this issue, the art is tough and funny, and how people live, as Sherman Alexie writes here, "because it's easy to lie about death."