For some reason, RALPH seems to attract
an inordinate number of Outraged Letters.
God knows why.
We have collected below portions of the most articulate,
libelous, or merely insulting that have come our way,
along with appropriate links so you can read for yourself
the full text of the review or article
that inspired such ire.
§ § §RALPH:
That Carolyn Kizer poem about her daughter was about her 8 year-old-child, not a grown person sententimentalized in the pit.As Meow Tse-Tung used to say: no investigation, no right to speak.--- A Bullitt
Dear Lolita Lark:
Congratulations: You have written the first negative review of my book. I'm so pleased you hated it so much, although I wish your criticisms weren't as lightweight (counting the I's on a page! In a memoir! How inventive!) as you believe my opinions are.--- All best,
What kind of idiots do you have writing book reviews? In her report on my book, Ms L.A. Bloom admits she's slipping into senility. I think she's already there.--- Sincerely,
Ron ButlerTo the Crank Letter Editor:
In reference to your review of Stephen Budiansky's "The Truth About Dogs."Who IS that dork?Most of his rabid misinformation about dogs could be more aptly applied to the anklebiters of his own species.Sheesh what a parasite!--- Paco,
aka The Yellow Dog
It became clear to me that the reviewer was far more interested in her own cleverness and ability to dash off a few zingers than in forming a thoughtful, careful, and mature opinion of the poetry.--- Sharon Cournoyer
Department of English and American
Literature and Language
Dear Mr. Singer:
I write regarding your review --- or rather your lack of a review --- of Miss Moffett's First Year.I find you views very offensive regarding the New York Teaching Fellows Program. We no longer live in Draconian times where we can "...beat the shit out of recalcitrant, noisy, and out-of-
control students." This isn't New York City of Tammany Hall days, you know.Your negative, cynical, pessimistic attitude is a direct consequence of personal experience of "fanny-warmers" and "knuckle swats."Stick to reviewing books and leave the education of tomorrow's generations to professionals. That is, if you can keep on task.--- C. J. Rawlings
I expect that most people with pretty much a positive, compassionate outlook on life and the rest of humanity were uplifted rather than annoyed by this book. I can appreciate that many people may be unaffected by Price's writing style --- after all, arts hits (or doesn't) people in different ways and that's its beauty --- but your review struck me as personally offensive and nasty.
Why be that way? The man's success among serious readers and scholars speaks for itself. A writer he is. I can cite you many gorgeous, lyrical, poetic passages that cut right to the heart of an issue large or small.
If you don't like him, fine, but you took a great risk and revealed more about yourself than about him in your review.--- AAbbielee@aol.com
[No reference given]To: email@example.com:
Subject: you are an idiot
why do you do that?--- firstname.lastname@example.org
Your review of Wasted was dismissive, condescending and spoke of a basic ignorance of eating disorders. The suggestion that a person would purposefully bring his or her self to the brink of death just for the attention is demeaning and disrespectful. Very rarely does one engage in self-destructive behavior for the sole purpose of punishing or manipulating family members.
As for your self-satisfied observation that you are concerned with "greater issues" (i.e., that you are a humanitarian concerned with the plight of the world) I recommend that you review the statistics on eating disorders and the fatality rates. Anorexia and Bulimia are diseases, not tantrums or teenage rebellion and merit the concern and activism given to other issues of import.--- Julia
Franz WrightDear Allworthy,
I get it now --- you're people who've been turned down for grants or been rejected by what you perceive to be mainstream magazines (how can there be mainstream poetry in a country where nobody reads poetry I do not know). But what will you do when one of you does get a grant, or has a poem accepted by The New Yorker (the horror!)?
A certain paranoid grouchiness on the part of your editor leads me to suspect that this is a political/
financial rather than purely aesthetic matter, and so I'd like to inform you that --- partly as a direct result of my own devotion to poetry --- I have spent my entire adult life in a condition of direst and near-dire poverty, in spite of a few awards and grants and numerous publications, and have never been a part of the academic creative writing establishment.
This is why I was puzzled (if somewhat flattered as well) when I was singled out. I think you ought to pick somebody who deserves it, if you can find such a person among published American poets --- I suppose they exist, though I don't think anyone takes them very seriously.
Anyway, best wishes & good luck. Poetry is written in solitude and discovered in solitude --- what else is there?--- Franz Wright
What does President Bush have to do with Gettysburg or the Civil War. Can't you keep your "I hate Bush" to yourself.
I will not be buying this book because of your little political spill pushing it.
If you like President Bush, why don't you leave. I am sure you would love Cuba.--- Grow up,
Do you know something? Your evaluation of Cradle of Valor is pure crap, pure and simple crap!
How fitting your email is poo.--- Jim Finkenaur
Read The Fountainhead some time. You are like that.
I could not believe that review of the Mount Rushmore sculptor.
What's wrong with you?--- Steven E. Romer
[No reference given]RALPH:
you are weird
lol lol lol--- DPrePrep@aol.com
Your reviewer panned the book, claiming that the book does not succeed as satire or humor. That is because the book is not meant to be a satire. I thought you should know.--- Joey Green
It surely seems a little strange that A. W. Allworthy casts down poetry that alludes to Homer with a question that might be better asked of the critic: Who (s)he?--- Joshua Kupetz
I had a drink with Lindbergh once in a bedroom of the Waldorf.
We talked for an hour or so.
He was a good conversationalist, with an interest in things he was able to share.
I liked him a lot. He was in his sixties and he was still handsome.
So cut Lindy a little slack, will you?--- Hugh Gallagher
I am kind of ashamed to write you because a man like me don't take stock in things like that but my wife told me you were a man and not some dopey woman so I thought I would write to you after reading your answer to Disillusioned."--- Yours truly,