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August 01, 2008


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Brilliant, and a revelation. I dug that article in The New Yorker as well, and thought "they shoulda asked poets"—but then, that's been my answer to many mysteries of my youth that seemed obvious to me and later were revealed to be. Thanks for bringing Polanyi and Sewell to a wider audience. A gift, as always.


I took a Coleridge seminar with Dr Sewell in 1969-70 were we in the same class? She was going to be my mentor for the PhD dissertation, then she went awol to Bensalem- Loved that woman too.


I recommend Dr. Sewell's essays in "To Be a True Poem"--- on Nonsense, Louis Carroll, S. T. Coleridge, Valery,... and revolutions in education. I was led to this blog by Google while re-reading a copy she inscribed in 1980 when she visited Washington University. A lovable person indeed.

Hi, my late husband, Geoff (who passed away in 2006), was a Bensalem college student and he actually did tell me he had a liaison with Elizabeth Sewell. Obviously, she liked younger men!

By happenstance, I was thinking of this and 'googled' her and found this discussion; how strange, I feel like I've discovered another facet of my husband's life, or, at least, shed light on it. Like all of you, he much admired her.

I was a Freshman at Fordham in 1968. Elizabeth Sewell gave a talk at Bishop's Hall. She was brilliant, amazing. Sadly listening to this lecture was my only exposure. I would've liked to study with her. (I gather she was only at Fordham for one year).

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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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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
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that Hand might succumb
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