Spring 2007 • Vol. XXIX No. 2 Book Reviews |

Came Glancing like an Arrow

Love, Amy: The Selected Letters of Amy Clampitt. Edited by Willard Spiegelman. New York: Columbia University Press, 2005. 336 pp. $41.50.   Today the Moving Finger usually presses a keyboard or the face of a cell phone. Voice has almost erased the written word, reducing sentences to glottal dead ends. In the post office last Friday a woman standing ahead of me in line answered her phone. "I don't know—like—like—you know—like," she stammered in response to a question. The answer seemed to satisfy the person to whom the woman was speaking. Certainly it delighted me, as I pulled a pen and a scrap of paper from my hip pocket and jotted the words down. "Jesus," my wife, Vicki, said later, "You have become insensitive. That woman saw what you wrote down." "No matter," I said. "She can't read." In times past matters were occasionally more literate. The Yale edition of Horace Walpole's letters fills almost fifty volumes. That of Charles Darwin is projected to fill thirty

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Sam Pickering is professor emeritus at the University of Connecticut. His most recent book is One Grand, Sweet Song, a collection of personal essays.

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