Ruth F. Boorstin, Love Is Not Because (Lone Oak Press, 1998)
Ruth F. Boorstin, the About the Author blurb tells us, was the wife—and longtime editor—of Daniel J. Boorstin, a Pulitzer Prize winner, Library of Congress librarian, seller of many, many books. You have likely heard of Daniel Boorstin. Unless you aware aware of the minutiae of his life, you have probably never heard of Ruth. Having now read the horrifying Love Is Not Because, I know why all too well.
“So there’s too much talk for you?
One word is unspoken
The room is too smokefilled [sic] for you?
The door is open.
Love here is frail enough
Compared to doubt
I’ll blow a single puff
So—it is out!”
(“Dismissal”, 31; this is the entire poem)
I won’t swear to it, but I’m relatively sure I remember some of my third-grade classmates turning in better work than this. Four-on-the-floor repetitive message doggerel that probably took about as much thought as the average political speech in the latter half of the twentieth century. This is one hundred sixty pages of some of the worst poetry you will ever read, if you have the misfortune to stumble upon it somewhere; its only redeeming quality is that, for the most part, it is not overtly offensive. Nothing in the book makes me despair as much as the fact that one of the back cover blurbs came from Ray Bradbury. I shed a few tears at that. *