The Review of Arts, Literature,
Philosophy and the Humanities

  Number 187

Late Spring 2009

Ten Great Poems
Over the years,
RALPH has published
over five hundred poems ---
classical, romantic, modern.
Here, in our editors' opinion,
are ten of the best of the best.

Labor Pains and Birth Stories
"I am quite pleased.
I, who, cannot keep a plant
alive for more than three months ---
a trimester --- am growing
within me a gigantic hothouse
tomato of a baby."

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel
"The 'Most Bizarre Sight' in Beirut
is the Holiday Inn, complete
with gaping mortar holes,
fluttering shreds of bedroom curtains,
and resident flocks
of pigeons."

"I heard my Rameaux
this morning at La Trinité.
If you are still a
good friend of mine,
do not play again one note
of my music, please."

Big Trips
"Here are sixteen men
who travel as far as they dared
looking for a way in,
a way out, home, love.
Some find it; most don't.
But by telling so
honestly of their desire,
they have created a quiet classic."

The Secret of the Great Pyramid
"We can all wonder
why someone in the year 4,500 B. C. ---
an era without tractors, construction
cranes, or Blackwater ---
would spend twenty years
to construct a tomb
in the air."

Shanghai Girls
"The porridges made from
the seeds of Job's tears,
apricot kernels, and lotus seeds,
steamed rice cakes made
with rugosa rose and white sugar,
and their eggs stewed in tea leaves
and five spice."

Hurry Down Sunshine
"One is reminded of
the manic patient in a
lie detector test who
was asked if he was Napoleon.
'No,' he replied.
The lie detector recorded
that he was lying."

"The Japanese are winning
across the Pacific.
The Russians have lost the battles
at Stalingrad and Moscow.
The Allied invasion at Normandy
has failed."

Great Reviews of the Past
Eskimo Architecture
"One village of Innuit,
using special glazed ice
cut from the Noyatog River,
have constructed
a four-sided exact copy
of New York's IBM building.
They use the structure
for storing dead reindeer
and penguin feet."

WPA Post Office
Art in Texas

The Roads of the Romans
The Virgin of Juquila

100 Copies
Pest Control

Cryptic Letters of the Month
French Kisses
Africa and the Fear of God

Where Has She Gone?
"The idea of his sister
behaving without a trace
of rational intention
is unfathomable to him,
as it was to me at first.
In a single stroke
her identity has changed;
and by extension ours,
as a family,
has changed too."

In the House of Beatrice Potter
"Just me, Squirrel Nutkin, and
Jemima Puddle-Duck.
Though Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
could be trouble."

Anniversary Serenade
"You are my honeydew and panther sweat,
The music library on my private jet.
Top of the bill, we fly without a net.
You are the stroke of luck I can't forget."

Where the Sea Meets the Desert
"Antony and Cleopatra swam at Mersa Matruh
In the clear blue shallows.
Imagine the clean sand, the absence of litter ---
No plastic bottles or scraps of styrofoam packing,
No jetsam at all except the occasional corpse
Of a used slave tossed off a galley."


All the back-issues of RALPH,
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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Submitting Reviews
Suggestions for would-be reviewers --- and payment schedule.
RALPH didn't spring full-blown from the brows of the gods:
     We've been around (in different guises) for over thirty years.     
The Fessenden Fund
Describing the good works of RALPH's official godparent
Behind the Scenes

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

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

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