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October 13, 2013

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Hear, hear! I remember the first time I saw Richard (I didn't meet him then) was the winter of 1971-72 and Richard had been invited to read in Iowa City, a year after he'd won the Pulitzer for UNTITLED SUBJECTS. Young pup that I was, I read the book and went to the reading, though I had no idea who this person was. At the end of the (very dramatic) reading, Richard read his "letter" in the voice of Richard Strauss--he finished by lifting his face into the spotlight, smiled, read the ending (I can't remember the exact words, but similar to "Your humble and obedient servant, Richard Strauss"), then bowed his head and clicked his heels together in a barely barely audible click. In that one movement I saw a century of German life: arrogance, submission, the Romanticism those helped form, even the horrors to come--and Richard's love of "decadence" and the art it produced. I admit it: I fell a little bit in love with him at that moment, and would be thrilled to meet him five years later, when he visited our campus for a reading. Happy Birthday, Richard! With love.

Beautiful comment, Jim. Thank you!

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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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Ringfinger was nervous
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to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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