Readers write: Feathered friends, nuclear news, and poetry reflection

Karen Norris/Staff

Feathered friends

I live in Redondo Beach, a suburban town on Santa Monica Bay. Thus, my little murder of crows is not as grand as the one in Murr Brewster’s April 1 Home Forum essay, “We are observed.” Nevertheless, the “neighbors” make themselves known.
One day, after much unremitting raucous crow clamor, I wandered out to see what was up. A dozen crows lined the wires across the street, their focus on the gutter at my feet.
A dead crow. “She’s dead,” I hollered. “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you. There’s nothing I can do.”
I wrapped the late tribe member in a trash bag and took it off. They decided it was finished and departed.

Adele Borman
Redondo Beach, California

Why We Wrote This

Letters to the editor for the May 13, 2019 weekly magazine.

Nuclear news

Regarding the cover story “The budding nuclear threat” from the March 18 Weekly Print Edition: I am so grateful that The Christian Science Monitor is covering the urgent issue of limiting and finally abolishing all of the world’s nuclear weapons.
I feel that the growing danger of a nuclear holocaust is the greatest threat ever faced by the human race. And it is absolutely essential that more people become aware so that we can prevent it from ever happening.

Rama Kumar
Fairfax, California

Poetry reflection

I loved reading Todd R. Nelson’s Home Forum essay “The day I heard poetry call” in the April 15 weekly edition with reference to E. E. Cummings and Billy Collins. It brought back memories of my own call to poetry.
I grew up with the poems of Shel Silverstein, but then I’d lost touch with poetry in middle and high school. I remember reading E. E. Cummings’ poem “r-p-o-p-h-e-s-s-a-g-r” for the first time in 11th-grade English class.
Initially it looked like nonsense, but when I got to the end where those letters rearrange themselves to become “grasshopper” I was overcome with delight! I love word play, and suddenly poetry was fun again and I could relate.
Therefore I was excited when I got to meet Billy Collins, a U.S. poet laureate who is quoted in Mr. Nelson’s article, at a poetry festival in my hometown. His poetry, too, was fun and relatable. I began writing poetry and learned to love it anew: I saw how it had no real limitations of tone, structure, or even punctuation, but can be anything the poet wants.

Whitney Wyndham
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.