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Readers on The Ribbon and many other things

October 7, 1985



The contributions to the peace ribbon on these pages are from ``The Ribbon: A Celebration of Life,'' published by Lark Books, Asheville, N.C. Many thanks to the artists, photographers, and all concerned in several countries. I want you to know that I feel the Monitor is helping to insure Morgan's future,'' writes Carol L. Roth of Pitman, N.J., referring to her young son. ``Just reading it for a year has made me more aware of our world, and I believe it has inspired me to go forward with my own peace efforts.'' She shares her poem about August's ``Ribbon of Peace'' in Washington.

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Connecticut waved to Alabama, Utah gave a bear hug to Idaho. Pennsylvania kissed Arizona, Michigan posed with Ohio. Illinois held hands with Florida, South Carolina nodded to Vermont. Mississippi gave water to Virginia, Nebraska chatted with New York. Kansas saluted Colorado, Georgia sat with Washington. Texas smiled at Minnesota, Alaska wept with Oregon. Kentucky bowed to West Virginia, Maryland sang with New Mexico. New Jersey embraced Louisiana, North Carolina walked with Iowa. Massachusetts patted the arm of Hawaii, Rhode Island acknowledged Arkansas. Delaware called out to New Hampshire. Maine signaled to South Dakota, the moment had finally arrived. Montana ceased talking to Nevada, and everyone looked to the sky. Wisconsin prayed with Wyoming, Indiana hurried over to Tennessee. As balloons rose over the treetops, California turned to Missouri. In the District of Columbia, every state in this nation did meet. Fingers of love tied together panels into one giant Ribbon of Peace. Our people tied it around the Pentagon, Circled outside the White House lawn, and crossed the steps of Capitol Hill, a message fourteen miles long. From every corner of this nation, in paint, crayon, and embroidery, the citizens made one, united declaration, ``Nuclear weapons are not the way to Peace!''

From Pittsburgh, Pa., D. L. Gibbon writes: ``I enjoyed your Home Forum page on mazes [including Jeanne Schinto's `A puzzle of historic proportions' and, in `The loose-leaf library,' a passage from Johan Huizinga's `Homo Ludens,' Aug. 20]. One of the few poems I have permanently in my head is callled `Maze.' It was part of a joint Steuben Glass/American poets traveling exhibition I saw some 20 years ago, and I've lost the author's name. `A maze is a path/ with no easy end./ Let it amaze your eye/ but no t stall your spirit./ Be yours the power of a Creator/ Who, when he created the Universe,/ May have left a way out.' Nice, eh?''

Norma Jean Thomas of Maple City, Mich., wonders if anyone recalls the next few lines of ``Chester, have you heard about Harry/ Just back from the army?/ I think he knows how to touch his toes/ da da da da da da da.'' She adds: ``I've decided there must be almost as many camp songs as there are camps. At least I recognized only one in the 23 that Laura Matthews mentioned (`The smell of the campfire, the roar of the girls,' July 6). Even today I often sing them to myself as I drive through the country.

As I drove my granddaughter to camp for her second summer, she spent the entire 90 minutes entertaining me with songs she had learned the year before. Nearly all were new to me! But her zest matched mine of many years before. Last year on a trip to Korea I heard children from one of their nursery schools perform `Old MacDonald Had a Farm' in Korean. These children demonstrated that music -- even camp music -- is indeed a universal language.''

A new language of ``glyphics from graphics'' is advocated by Richard Davidson of Tigard, Ore., in keeping with today's ``revolution of communication.'' He suggests a modern version of glyphs or pictographs, as used by the ancients, because ``we will need briefer inscriptions conveying more freight of meaning.'' Computers would use not words but bytes. ``Think in concepts -- not in words!''

Also from Oregon, Dorothy Jackson of Portland writes: ``What a nice surprise to find a page of poems by Robert Francis in yesterday's Monitor (``The poet replies,'' July 29)! When I first began to appreciate and watch for them in your pages, I was just out of WAVES in World War II, starting life afresh in Portland, and a new subscriber to the Monitor. In college lit. courses I'd become fond of Emily Dickinson, and my liking Francis' poems seemed to follow naturally. Since then there has been marriage and three children and busy years without much time for poetry, but when I found those books [by Francis] in a dusty corner of my shelf and opened them yesterday, I still enjoyed the poems and they still felt especially mine.''