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August 26, 2009


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love this post, T. R.! though I confess I'm a bit biased; just completed a manuscript on the panoramic vantage in post-Romantic poetry.

What's interesting is that when one starts thinking about panoramic sight (as it seems to me you've been doing), one inevitably bumps into questions of aviation; "panorama," although a painterly word, was invented four years after the hot air balloon first gave humans their first experience of flight (1783).

In any event, the taut relationship between poetry (small) and the earth's surface (big big big) is a fascinating one. thanks much. p

That's very good -- I never looked into the etymology of the word "panorama," but what you say makes sense. It's a very 18th century sounding word, don't you think? And readily embraced by the 19th. Whitman's "panorama" mind is spectacular: he WAS a hot air balloon, you might say (with all due respect and only a little irony).

Thanks for reading, and for your thoughtful response. --Terry Hummer

Great Emerson quote. Where does he say it?

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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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