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May 03, 2009


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David: I'd never before framed it the way you did, but I think you're right. Poets are perhaps more comfortable than other groups with the complex and liminal states associated with crisis and sorrow--we dive through them, we don't feel they belong to "some other person", even if they're shared by "some other person". Certainly, that hands-off social dynamic that Malcolm Gladwell describes in the Kitty Genovese chapter of The Tipping Point doesn't apply to poets. We know for whom the bell always tolls, because we've chosen to be implicated by all bells. We are not seekers after dry spaces.

Sorry I've rambled on. It's just good to hear this idea affirmed, this community that it's so healthy to be able to believe in.

All that said with continued prayers for Craig. And with a thank you to you.

I would also like to add that, in my experience (and with perhaps a few exceptions), poets are good folks.

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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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