Cradle of Valor
Poetry in the U. S.
RALPH's Forthcoming Book

Dear Folks:

I served under Dale O. Smith during WWll --- seen in your magazine.

I didn't like the SOB.

PS wher do I send the check

--- Yer Fren,

Go to the original review of
Cradle of Valor


I have only just learned of the former existence of the Fessenden Review --- serendipitously having retrieved A Cricket in the Telephone (at Sunset) from a heap of English Dept. booksale disjecta.

The first thing that caught my eye was your claim of affinity with Ranulph Higden, with whose historiographical stylings I am, in an academic setting, presently engaged. Nice! Or, rather, good for Ms. Lark! I feel we are somehow related.

Though I've sworn off submitting my poetry for publication, I am happily submitting a small group of poems to RALPH (of whose existence I have also just learned). One is a translation of Bernard of Cluny's "Contemptus mundi"; all the others are by me, though some of them are written through me by a malevolent (? bilious at least!) spirit called "Vlad" --- I don't know who he is, but sometimes he helps me with Latin (I'm not joking).

And please consider me at your service book-review-wise. I feel a strong affinity with your editorial imagination. I briefly reviewed poetry books for a Canadian magazine (Quill and Quire?) but they took me off the roster because I really couldn't say anything nice about their poets, though I loved reviewing them (I confess I can't stand Canadians!). Though I no longer have an outlet, I continue as a rule to hate North American contemporary verse.

--- Sincerely,
Thomas H. Crofts III

Vlad's Erudite Erotica


The tragic love poem
was not sent to you
anaesthetized tiger
You mistook terribly, I'm afraid,
its slow breathing
the spike at its heart
which wearily you critiqued.

It was something other, my interpreting angel,
something quite apart
from the piles of rejected fiction
to which you are accustomed.

I am Part I, the Alpha book,
I am the Master of Glass.
This is not Boethius, my poppet:

I have put my mark on you, and you are mine.

§     §     §

Suggestion for
Tenth Anniversary Book

Dear Lolita:

There are so many gems and pearls and so forth in RALPH that it is not easy to make a single suggestion. But I have forced myself to choose one, so it might carry more weight with you.

My suggestion is Tom Bradley's piece on the Lolos in China. Aside from being a masterpiece in its own right, this essay comes from the pen of one of the best essayists and fiction writers out there.

--- Your ardent fan,
Cye J.

Hello, Ms. Lark.

A tenth anniversary book --- what a fine idea. I will buy several copies.

I would love to see The Lolos, by Tom Bradley, included. It's one of my favorites. He's getting more famous by the month, with as many features in ARTS AND LETTERS DAILY as Christopher Hitchens. Almost.

Also, please include the review of Jason Epstein's asinine memoir, and my letter responding to it, wherein I savage his plagiarist son, Jacob. That should garner you some interesting reviews in the mainstream press.

--- Thanks,

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