From Our Listeners

Letters: 'Sweeping Beauty,' Paying More for Gas

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Hosts Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne read from listener's letters.


Time now for your comments.

We received a range of responses to our story on the book "Sweeping Beauty," women's poems about housework. Several men complained the poems left them out.

Mr. GEORGE LEOPOLD(ph) (Caller): I'm George Leopold from Reston, Virginia. Gee, only women do housework? My wife and I divide household chores, although neither of us thinks the other is doing enough. I spend half my day picking up after a teen-age son and running a household while my wife is on the road for work. Your story reinforced the stereotype that dads are parked on their Barcaloungers watching the NFL.


We also heard from women like Carrie Nobles(ph) of Nashville, Tennessee, who loved being in the kitchen. She writes, `It's been fashionable for working women to boast that they are too busy to cook for their families or clean their houses. I'm a 52-year-old banker and I take the opposite view. I cherish my husband,' she writes, `and I'm happy to keep him well-fed.'

MONTAGNE: For one listener, housework was anything but relaxing.

Ms. MARIA DAVID LYGAND(ph) (Caller): This is Maria David Lygand in Charlotte, North Carolina. Throughout the final unhappy chapter of my marriage, turning my grocery cart into the household cleaners aisle would bring me to tears. The tears were involuntary, a human reaction to the strain of living in a disappointing marriage, maintaining a sunny disposition for my children and still having to keep up with the usual household chores. Three years later, however, I'm amicably divorced, my kids are reasonably well-adjusted, and the only tears I shed in the market are due to ever-increasing food prices, and housework is again a comfortable routine.

MONTAGNE: Our interview with James Surowiecki fueled a number of reactions. He's The New Yorker financial columnist who says we ought to be paying more for gas.

INSKEEP: Russ Ward(ph) of Morehead, Kentucky, thinks Surowiecki is guilty of urban bias. He writes, `The standard of living for folks here is low enough already. The rural poor really take a hit when gasoline prices spike. In my community,' he adds, `we don't have access to public transportation and our widely varied work schedules make carpooling a difficult option when someone drives an hour to work.'

MONTAGNE: James Surowiecki also said he didn't think there are any station wagons that get 30 miles per gallon. Plenty of drivers say there are, and so does the Environmental Protection Agency.

INSKEEP: And we have a few corrections this morning. In our story about bird flu, we left out a zero. We said that the World Health Organization has enough of the antiviral drug Tamiflu to protect about 12,000 people. In reality, it has enough to protect 120,000.

MONTAGNE: This week we also said that Warren Zevon's last album was called "My Ride's Here." In fact, Warren Zevon's very last recording was "The Wind," which he worked on after being diagnosed with lung cancer. It included this song, "Keep Me In Your Heart."

(Soundbite of "Keep Me In Your Heart")

Mr. WARREN ZEVON (Singer): (Singing) Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath. Keep me in your heart for a while.

INSKEEP: If you should hear a mistake or want to comment on something you hear on MORNING EDITION, go to and click on `contact us.'

(Soundbite of "Keep Me In Your Heart")

Mr. ZEVON: (Singing) Keep me in your heart for a while. When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun, keep me in your heart for a while. There's a train leaving nightly called When All Is Said And Done. Keep me in your heart for a while.

INSKEEP: This is NPR News.

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