Poetry and Politics, HIPAA and Other Letters to the Editor

to the Editor:

As a poet, a part of second-wave feminism, and a former poetry critic, I have recently come to appreciate the breadth and depth of Alyssa Gabert’s thoughtful quarterly poetry columns. “moral position” (11 July). She dives deeper and tells us what she has found, which makes us realize once again how urgent poetry can and should be and how it rises to the occasion, whatever it may be.

Rosemary Danielle
Savannah, Ga.

to the Editor:

Alyssa Gabert’s most recent column on politics and poetry is quite misleading. Their combination is not uncommon. In addition to a large amount of iconic Latin American political poetry, political poetry is probably the dominant genre now in the United States. Claudia Rankin is perhaps our most visible poet.

And I don’t understand why June Jordan would have claimed in 1979 that Whitman could not have published then. Allen Ginsberg’s poem was widely circulated and acclaimed by that time, and it is in Whitman mode, but much more scandalous.

In addition, prominent poets of the late 1960s and ’70s wrote openly political poems: Adrienne Rich, Denis Levertov, Robert Duncan and Robert Lowell – to name a few.

It’s certainly a good thing to have Jordan and Muriel Rukisser’s “Essentials” poem in print, but it’s wrong to imagine that they are outliers in some way. Gabert appeals to his own experience in college at the turn of the last century. A longer perspective is needed than that.

Richard Strayer

to the Editor:

empathy confused with lack of insight, Readings of Emma Copley Eisenberg Mikita Brotman’s “Couple Found Slane” (July 18)

Brotman tells the story of Brian Bechtold, a psychoanalyst, a convicted murderer who has been lodged in a Maryland mental hospital for decades, largely from his point of view. Given his condition, he cannot do it himself. She adds context about psychiatric diagnoses, legal labels, and changing hospital protocols.

One of the most prominent changes during his hospitalization has been the removal of personal narratives from group therapy in compliance with HIPAA. Her seeming answer to how to fix a failing system, a system apparently unable to heal those whose family dynamics traumatize them in patriarchal psychosis, is to listen to personal stories. .

To write a book like this and to read it requires extraordinary empathy and openness to explore the most terrifying aspects of human behavior.

Edit Barry

to the Editor:

Like many others in the Democratic Left, I have mixed feelings about Jimmy Carter’s presidency.

However, which was not mentioned Timothy Naftali Review It was in Kai Bird’s “The Outliers: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter” (July 11) that Carter, on his first full day in office on January 21, 1977, ignored the advice of most of the movers and shakers in this country and Signed the declaration. 4483, granting pardons for violations of the Selective Services Act.

This valiant action, implemented through Executive Order 11967, enabled thousands of young people who had left the United States in the 1960s and early 70s – to avoid the prospect of fighting in an immoral war – to eventually become legal. To be able to meet friends and families in the United States of America, years after our last combat soldiers left Vietnam.

gary sanders
Iowa City

to the Editor:

loved crossword (27 June). Can we have more? Like every issue.

sandy decks
Healdsburg, Calif.

to the Editor:

in response to Letter Regarding finding copies of John Gunther’s “Inside USA” (July 18), I would like to remind readers that they are not dependent on Amazon and Google to satisfy their reading desires. Hundreds of copies of Gunther’s wonderful book are resting quietly on library shelves around the country and the world.

These and many other excellent books are available to borrow free of charge thanks to one of the greatest civic institutions ever created: the public library.

Molly O’Hara Ewing
St. Cloud, Minn.

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