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October 29, 2012

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BRAVO, Luke. So happy to read wise words about contemporary poetry. One doesn't find them all that often.

Thank you for reading, and for your kind words, John.

Thank you for raising these questions, Luke. I, too, believe that irony can coexist with profound devotion, divine perplexity, prayer and benediction. I have kept this in mind in my own work -- in "For I Will Consider Your Dog Molly," a Rosh-Hashana poem, and in the title poem of my book "Yeshiva Boys," for example. There are, I would wager, many others trying to balance the impulses of modernity (irony, irreverence) and "metaphysical" tradition. -- DL

Thank you for your insightful comment, David. I think that what misgivings I have about irony are based on the observation -- and the experience -- that in the most profound encounters with the holy (i.e., the divine, the sublime, the spiritual -- the other), irony and ornament are stripped away. But I do also acknowledge that irony can characterize our attempts -- usually our frustrated attempts -- at transcendence. -LH

I agree that irony can get in the way -- can prove to be a more or less decorous cop out, to use a slightly seedy expression. But I like to think of irony as Kierkegaard wielded it, not only in his "aesthetic" texts, such as "Either / Or" but in his retelling of Abraham and Isaac in "Fear and Trembling." Thanks again, Luke. I hope you will blog for us again soon. -- DL

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