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They Should Blush

May 26, 1996

Regarding "Schadenfreude" by Stephanie Brown (April 21):

Poems used to be visions of beauty. Now they are visions of horror and disgust. What possesses a poet to come up with such ugliness? It is no wonder that preteens are committing serious crimes, when even poets, who have the power with their words to charm us with their imagination and bring beauty into the readers' lives, are instead promoting terror.

Where are we heading when such poems as "Schadenfreude" can be selected for "The Best American Poetry 1995"?

MRS. GERARD S. FOLEY, SANTA ANA

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"Schadenfreude"? Hoity-toity! I know a few other German words and phrases, most of them scatological. But if this is a sample of "The Best American Poetry 1995," if it is indeed poetry by even the most indulgent definition, a simple "Ach!" will have to do, at the cost of considerable restraint.

FRED SCIFERS, DOWNEY

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