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April 14, 2012

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I like his poem, "Inviting a Friend to Supper." Such a nice way to be invited to dinner. I esp. like the inclusion of the menu, although I am not sure what some of the items are.

"On My First Son" is one of the most poignant and beautiful poems ever written. I've used it in Intro. to Lit. classes as an example of the timelessness of art: here we sit, in the midst of all our 21st century technological glory, thinking we know it all, and yet this early 17th century poem expresses the same bewildered grief any parent of a dead child feels, even today. And you'd have to have a heart of stone not to ache at and "Rest in soft peace, and, asked, say, Here doth lie/Ben Jonson his best piece of poetry." It's brilliant and heartbreaking.

The poem is so witty and, at the same time, touching--and that's a tough combination to get right in any poem. Not guilty! Case closed!

I've always thought he was underrated. I particularly liked his work in The
Last Picture Show.

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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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