Those needing additional proof that the poor fight the wars of the privileged need look no farther than "Go to Maine" {letters, Sept. 7}. I'm sure Leigh Sherrill's paean to the restorative powers of a Maine vacation will give great comfort to the tens of thousands of less fortunate men and women doing their "summering" in the arid hell of a Saudi desert.

Something in that bracing Maine air seems to have the peculiar effect of warping the political -- let alone the moral -- sensibilities of many of those lucky enough to breathe it. MAUREEN BRENNAN Washington

I agree wholeheartedly with Leigh Sherrill's defense of the rite of "going to Maine," both as a treatment for presidential stress and as an end in itself. The president of the United States is never on vacation, and no harm was done by his visit to Maine.

It is unfortunate, however, that both public interest in the president's summer address and Leigh Sherrill's letter perpetuate the myth that Maine is little more than an exquisitely beautiful coastline. When our family goes to Maine, as I have been doing for 45 years now, since I was six weeks old, we always try to spend one day on the coast, but we immerse ourselves the rest of the time in the inland lakes, rivers and mountains.

Henry David Thoreau was emphatically not referring to Boothbay harbor when he wrote (in "The Maine Woods"): "Who shall describe the inexpressible tenderness and immortal life of the grim forest, where . . . blissful, innocent Nature, like a serene infant, is too happy to make a noise, except by a few tinkling, lisping birds and trickling rills? . . . There certainly men would live forever, and laugh at death and the grave. . . ."