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September 23, 2008

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Laura Oren is a cultural critic as well as a poet, The Best Kind....one who is awake to history as well as to the moment! Thank you! This is one I will return to.Grace Cavalieri

Does anybody know if Seeger's famous special banjo was ever returned to him? Some time ago it was stolen, and there was an appeal to get it back...

I don't know, but I sure hope so. Seeger is a terrific person. A couple of years ago, one of my students sent him a note through a mutual friend, telling him that we were studying his life and work in my class. Seeger had the friend get my student on the phone ("Helloooo, Dan, this is Pete"), and they had a wonderful chat. He was thrilled that a new generation was learning about his work, and wanted to know what we had talked about and what my student had learned. A few months later, my student ran into Seeger at a party, and they had another long talk. (My student, God love him, asked Seeger to sign a CD for me, and it's now one of my most prized possessions.) He was kind and gracious and generous with his time. It's not often that the famous live up to their reputations in real life, but Seeger does. A true American treasure.

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

 

 


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