R  A  L  P H
  The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities

Number 167

Very Early Winter 2007

"In the fairly extensive
language section
the word for war jang
is the same in Dari/Farsi and in Pashto.
"Shame on you" is listed
only in the former;
"Are there landmines?"
appears in both, but
phrased slightly differently."

Ticket to Exile
"I remember
the smell of roasted rats
that my parents used
to supplement our diet.
Rats would be trapped, skinned,
and roasted over a skimpy fire.
The smell was unique,
unlike any I remember since."

The New Earth from Above
"One is led to believe that
Arthus-Bertrand could be taking
helicopter photographs of
dog-stool in Burbank or
a drunk throwing up in Jersey City
and make it dramatic."

The Coldest Winter
"She could certainly
use a bit of a talking-to
about this name-drop business.
Paul Robeson. Lawrence Olivier.
Miles Davis. Winston Churchill.
And would you believe
Jean-Paul Sartre?"

Inventing Los Alamos
"According to Groves,
the biggest problem at Los Alamos
was the production of scientists.
Not of bombs, but of babies.
He protested to Oppenheimer
about the birthrate.
Oppenheimer replied that
this hardly seems to be
the responsibility of a
scientific director."

Beethoven: The Universal Composer
"In later years,
he would attend rehearsals
of his newest works,
would watch the performers,
watch their hands,
how the violinists were bowing,
which keys the oboists were touching,
and would know,
by sight alone,
who was misreading
his manuscript."

Leopold Méndez
Revolutionary Art and
The Mexican Print

"I was astonished
by the spectacle of
a dead dog in a
state of decomposition,
covered by butterflies
with silvery wings,
carnivorous butterflies that were
devouring it.
It was like a dream."

Great Reviews of the Past
"The pig is generally
considered the symbol of Molvanīa.
Believed to be sacred by many,
these animals may only be slaughtered
Monday to Saturday.
Pigs are widely used
throughout the country
for meat, milk and ---
in remote areas ---

Frederic Chopin
Gentlemen of the Road

The Dew-Line Bears
Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada

Mark O'Brien
Hitler and Syphilis

Sylvia Plath
Contact with the Deceased
Stepwise Technique

Who Beats Your Heart?

"While tearing off a game of golf
I may make a play for the caddie;
But if I do, I don't follow through,
Because my heart belongs to Daddy."

Beethoven's Oeuvres
"One of my friends chided me
for snubbing Dvorák.
Something must have changed:
We all start to go a little
soft in the head with time.
I even have a
fair amount of
Tchaikovsky now."

The Edwardians
"Standing at full length in the portrait
Sargent's Ribblesdale stared out upon
the world in an attitude of such
natural arrogance, elegance and
self-confidence as no man of
a later day
would ever achieve."

The Birth of the Unknown Soldier
"For most of the history of war,
only the greatest warriors were remembered;
the rest were buried without
ceremony in some hastily dug pit.
Until the twentieth century,
the nameless corpse left on
the battlefield was the accepted norm,
not the symbolically
powerful exception."

"It was the way
he held me against him,
his prickly chin pressing
against my head
that I remember best.
I wanted to be
held like that

Sweet Tarts
"Everyone got so excited,
staring at Rhonda,
I decided to practice.
After school I practiced
fainting in my own room,
falling, over and over,
my knees going weak, a pillow pressed
against my head."

Great Poems of the Past
Hurricane Fred

" A guy came along on a horse
Shouting into a bullhorn that the turtles were coming
We said so what
He told us they'd eat the furniture
Drink the gas from the cars
Run up the phone bill and keep the lights on in the daytime
Well we battened down the hatches
And sure enough they came millions of them
Moving in off the freeway
Eating doorknobs and drinking fuel
Wanting only to be loved."


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including titles of books under review,
along with author, subject, and publisher,
plus links to readings, articles, and poems
that have appeared on-line
since 1994.

of our most notorious reviews
as collected in the hard-copy

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Behind the Scenes

The Faces of Those Who Make Up the Face of RALPH
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The Reginald A. Fessenden Educational Fund, Inc.

Lolita Lark, Editor-In-Chief
Post Office Box 16719
San Diego CA 92176


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