The Ecphorizer

Letters

Issue #25 (September 1983)

Dear Sir:

I am somewhat of a climber and received great amusement with your article by Mr. Duro, titled "A Climber's Bestiary," but with one of the puns included therein I am troubled. In short, what in Hell means "Franklin" in the expression "Arete Franklin"?

The Oxford English Dict. I have consulted, moreover the Merriam Webster's Third and Second Internationals, in desperation the Random House, and even Mrs. Byrnes' Dictionary yet, but none offer a hint about a useage that would explicate the signification of "Franklin." All I find is that a "Franklin" is kind of some bailiff or land steward. With puzzlement, I am supposing that this reference denotes some of Mr. Ben Franklin's preachy homilies (driving "victims to paroxysms of self-destructive guilt") such as for example "Penny-wise, pounds foolish." Means "furry and dark" a reference to some Freudian "Black beast" perhaps? Is the ice axe a reference to the murder weapon on Trotsky used? Could we then be referring to preachy moralizers in general?

Wonderfully abstruse things like the above keep me back for more. Keep up the good work!

Bela Sturgeon
Blackliff, NY 

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For a Hopi Woman
John Welch

Issue #25 (September 1983)

Wetamoo, whose extravagantly feminine presence was described by Mary Rowlandson after her captivity among Wetamoo's people, led 300 warriors to aid the Wampanoag chief King Philip in his unsuccessful war against the English, 1675-76. When she drowned while attempting to cross a river, the English recovered her body, cut off her head, and hoisted it on a pole within sight of the last of her warriors.



It was the way she said it.
Yeah, she'd say,

and I'd watch her lips, taut as
new wood, notched with
tiny lines. They looked like
they'd been used for counting coup.

But there were tines when she relented.
Then her lips were summer cedars,
branches brightly rising
to wrap their tips
around the wind.

She spoke like Wetamoo
her mouth a drawn cedar bow. 

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