LettersUNIQUE YANIQUE I read the “Author’s Voice” piece on Tiphanie Yanique, J00 (Summer 2010), with interest. I had the great pleasure of auditing Yanique’s senior seminar in Caribbean literature at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, this spring. She is so bright, innovative, and inspiring, and such a wonderfully creative teacher. And her book is a fun and rewarding read, in the tradition of Jamaica Kincaid and Edwidge Danticat. Go, girl!
Steve Leviss, A89P, A91P
Mountain Lakes, New Jersey
I was disappointed to find that “Mothers of Invention” (Summer
2010) focuses solely on mothers and completely neglects to mention fathers.
In this generation, when fathers are assuming more child-rearing responsibilities,
I would have expected Professor Scarlett to include at least one example
of a creative father.
I’ve read the poem “Inside the Church,” by Rebecca Kaiser Gibson (Summer 2010), and even though I’m a retired English teacher, I readily confess to cluelessness about its content and theme. The poem is about a horse in a church. I wonder how the horse got into a church in the first place. Like so many contemporary poets, Gibson is writing about a personal experience, but what is her point? In the second stanza, the horse is “whinnying over the bowed heads, galloping over the grass” (after leaving church, I hope). At the conclusion, Gibson finds that the “horse prophesied the horse I knew . . . and of life running.” I’m glad I’m
not a high school student taking a high-stakes standardized test and having
to discuss this poem.
From the horse’s mouth: Perhaps it would help to consider the horse as an embodiment of the force of ongoing, insistent, and unsanctimonious life. One (perhaps not just this particular poet) might crave a connection to such a compelling and uncompromising force. —Rebecca Kaiser Gibson
I very much enjoyed the Summer 2010 issue of Tufts Magazine.
I was particularly intrigued by “Slavery in Our Midst,” Hugh Howard’s article about the Royall House and Slave Quarters. I had no idea that buildings of such historical significance were steps from the Tufts campus. I also admired Vestal McIntyre’s fiction excerpt “The
Thanks for your defense of the print medium in “Let’s Get Physical” (Summer 2010) and for the job you’re doing on the magazine in general. Articles that make graduates more effective members of their communities, such as “Friends, Romans, Countrymen,” about public speaking, and “The Lion and the Lamb,” Professor Jeswald W. Salacuse’s
column about negotiation techniques, do a great service for all of us.
I just wanted to tell you that the Summer 2010 issue
of Tufts Magazine was interesting from beginning to end. Thank you!
I reported for duty with the Tufts V-12 unit nine weeks after
my eighteenth birthday on November 1, 1943, and was detached in late February
1945. My unit, V-12 Company 6, never marched to Soldiers Field in Cambridge
in the fall of 1944 as recalled by Ray Larter, E47, in “In Search of Lost Tufts” (Summer 2010). Perhaps the ROTC units marched. V-12 didn’t.
SPEECH FROM THE HEART As a former PR guy and off-and-on speechwriter for thirty-plus years, I much appreciated “Friends, Romans, Countrymen” (Summer 2010). I can vouch for Robert A. Lehrman’s assertion that speaking from the heart is effective.
A few years ago, when I accepted an invitation to speak at my town’s annual Memorial Day event, I prepared remarks based on some I found on a military website. Then, on the way home from a visit with my wife’s cousins—who lived near the former home of my wife’s deceased father, a World War II POW for two and a half years—I had second thoughts. The speech I had planned to deliver was not really about what I felt, and it was in someone else’s words. And so, with my wife driving, I wrote a new speech, using her father’s experiences as my boilerplate. An hour later, my lap was full of scrawled-over yellow legal pads.
On the hot sunny day that saw a parade dissolve into the local cemetery, where
hundreds were waiting, I was glad of my efforts in that rolling writing factory.
People are still telling me they enjoyed the stories about my father-in-law,
a war hero in every sense of the word. Incidentally, one speaker preceding
me was the mayor, who most eloquently delivered the same speech I would have
echoed a few minutes later had I not changed my mind. Seems his speechwriter
found the same web pages I did.
CORRECTIONS Bill Harris further points out that Sarah Palin spoke to the Gridiron Club in 2009, not in 2010 as was stated in “Friends, Romans, Countrymen.” Tamara M. Belmonte, J91, has alerted us to another chronological error in the same piece: Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inauguration took place on March 4, 1933; not until 1937 was Inauguration Day moved to January. —EDITOR