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June 21, 2008


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Terrific post, Roger. Thank you! As "Speaking" has been published both ways, future editors can cite a textual precedent to justify either reading, and I think I will probably always hear one phrase layered over the other when I get to that line. I wonder, by the way, why wou wrote April 2001. ARA died in February of that year and the poem ran in the New Yorker in, I believe, the last week of September or first week of October, mere weeks after September 11. But on the theory that every misprint means something, I wonder whether April has some significance here, or am I just compounding pedantry with caprice?

Whoops--I must have been tired. Don't know how I could have gotten the month of Archie's death wrong. I'd also forgotten how much time went by before the poem came out in the New Yorker. They gave his dates next to his name, so it must have been intended as a memorial tribute. Perhaps they timed it to coincide with the wonderful memorial gathering you organized at the New School in October of 2001. I've taken the liberty of correcting the post.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

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This Way Out

by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.



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