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May 07, 2010


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Dear Sandra: Thanks for your posts this week--they've been both disquisitive and enjoyable. And who doesn't like sestinas? I first started paying attention to them after reading Ashbery's "Farm Implements and Rutabagas in a Landscape" in 1973. The element of play has always been, for me, one of the principal pleasures that writing poetry provides, and we get a lot of that playful spirit in Ashbery & Alexie (and many others, of course). McSweeney's, as you know, used to publish a lot of sestinas online; they've stopped, unfortunately, but the poems are still there, up in the cloud, at
yrs, T

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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
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