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April 02, 2013

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This is a powerful and brave post, and I am grateful for it. The paragraphs beginning "The consensual view of Ivy League liberals" are particularly strong -- and unfortunately too true for comfort. The capacity of the educated class for intolerance goes together with the need to comply with a code of rectitude. Do you believe this conformism, so unlike the American character as Emerson depicted it, is a sign of deep insecurity? I incline to that view. The intolerance of religion, of Western religions in particular, is inexcusable but perhaps a natural corollary of the devaluation of canonical texts, "dead white men," and history altogether. -- DL


Thanks for those good comments. I am grateful the thoughts resonated with you. Look: I'm an Ivy-girt liberal myself, but I trust I have never assumed that my perspective was the only one worth countenancing.

I love the poem, it's one of those that pick up a philosophic truth (as opposed to a natural or visceral truth) to spin around gently for others to consider. Rather in the way the best of short stories do, which are my usual reading medium.

As to the intolerance of religion, yes, I see it often. It has become as socially acceptable in many places as laughing at feminism is in other places.

Both are wrong. We can pray for it to stop, or we can hope for our luck to change for it to stop, but how wonderful to be a poet, to be able to create that 'ball of light in one's hand' in condensed form, that ball of light that shines into dark corners to shift things into altered forms. :)

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Radio

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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This Way Out

THE RULE OF THUMB
by T.P.Winch

Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
when they learned
that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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