Letters to the Editor

No longer appreciates deer

Whatever happened to the mayor's meeting about the deer problem?

We seem to have a resident doe (I've taken to calling her Jane) that eats a variety of flowers and plants that were often ignored before deer became so prevalent in town. Of course Jane has a fawn and many friends that she shares our chrysanthemums, roses, vinca, etc., with.

While we have lived in Ashland for 32-plus years and should be used to them, the deer population has expanded so much that we can't appreciate their presence much anymore.

Maxine Scott


Tired of filler? Try poetry

Today I'd like to discuss the role that the art of poetry can play in education and modern life. There's much to be said for novels and storytelling, but they require the time and importantly the interest to carry a person through a lengthy manuscript. However, the creative and meaningful form of language that makes great novels great can also be found in a poem of 20 lines ... or as Japan's Basho brilliantly proved, three.

I personally am of the philosophy that the information age is full of filler, lengthy and elaborate language that's as often meant to obscure truth as to reveal it. This is also true in my opinion of most books: the value in 99 out of 100 could be boiled down to a page of poetry.

I'm also of the philosophy that the technical aspects of poetry shouldn't be focused on in pre-university education. Our math-worshipping society too often makes students count meter and feet when they should be feeling and thinking.

Another great aspect of poetry is that it's multi-dimensional: designed to be read silently or aloud, the aesthetic and audible quality of words being carefully weighed. The work of greats such as Robert Frost, Li Bai, and William Carlos Williams are perfect for the Internet age: Indeed, they've waited for the fulfillment that egalitarian video and discussion can bring. And their great masterpieces can be enjoyed in 10 minutes and understood in an hour, on a jog, in an airplane or in a hospital.

Sean Lawlor Nelson


Oxfordians need more evidence

Regarding "Oxfordians from far and wide ..." (Sept. 14): Decades ago some comedian used to startle listeners by suddenly proclaiming, "Hauptmann was innocent! I am the Lindbergh baby!" When pressed for the evidence of such, he offered completely circumstantial material: his age was that of the grown child, his ethnicity, his being raised in a nearby town, the fact that he couldn't remember anything about New Jersey. Naturally, these were rightly dismissed as entirely circumstantial.

In my view, the same may be said of the claims of the Oxfordians that he, the earl, and not whoever "Shakespeare" was or might have been, wrote the plays. Circumstantial evidence is adduced to support the claim but that is all. (Circumstantial evidence and the rather snobbish view that only an aristocratic gentleman had the stuff so to create.)

What would help the Oxfordian cause would be the discovery of authentic writings of the earl that manifest the genius we rightfully ascribe to Shakespeare. Some sonnets, perhaps, that glow with Shakesperean genius; some letters and manuscripts that unarguably establish his claims to authorship; perhaps a contract demonstrating that the Earl was indeed involved with the production of the plays and with the profits therefrom. Something tangible and persuasive, that is, not entirely circumstantial.

It being the Renaissance and all that, I find it hard to believe that the earl, who demonstrably had a big ego, did not want his name attached to his works so as to be remembered and revered by posterity. It does seem that the Oxfordians, like the Lindbergh baby comedian, have their work cut out for themselves.

Gerald Cavanaugh


Landowner should protect his lambs

Let me get this straight: We're going to use scarce county and federal funds to trap and kill a cougar who attacked two unprotected lambs?

Maybe Lewis, who lives on the edge of town, should keep his "guard dog" outside, or at least put his young lambs in a safe, predator-proof enclosure for the night, instead of leaving them in seven acres of open pasture, next to the wood. Sounds more like a case of bad livestock keeping than a "bad" cougar.

Holly Christiansen


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