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May 24, 2014

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Tom---They're all just aspirational, my friend, but #3 is definitely the one I've come closest to mastering.

Well put, Doc, well put.

Kudos, Doc. Very fine speech. But how the hell did this happen? Brer Reilly must be spinning in his sepulcher.


Dear Michael: I really don't know. When Iona contacted me, I asked if they had really vetted me to their complete satisfaction. They said: yes. But I must say that everyone connected to the event was warm & gracious. The invitation may go back to the 2007 reading that Bill Nevins, Angelo Verga, and I did on campus, which seemed to make a good impression. I was very sad to learn at the commencement that Tom Pendleton & Peter Chedda, both of whom were at the '07 event, have recently passed away.

Iona College displayed impeccable taste and courted sweet serendipity when it invited Terence Winch, class of 1967, to give the keynote speech at its graduate school commencement. Like his justly celebrated verse and stories, Terence Winch's inspired, inspiring talk rang with the authority of someone who had taken the "L" train often and knew its stops all too well: loved (see #1), lived (see all), livid (see #9), loathed (see #10), lauded (see #2), ludic (see all), and limpid (see all). It's one "L" of a speech from one hell of a writer and speaker.

Lovely speech - what a great time we had!

Man, they're just givin' away those Iona honorary doctorates. Good shit, Terry.


Thank you, Stefano.


Dear Ms. Campbell: yes, we did,  and will continue to, have a good time. 


Thank you, Earle, for your typically generous reaction.

Dear Terry,

Lovely words--sincerity and humor in equal measure. You have provided poetry lovers and music lovers like me with great gifts over the years and I am delighted that you have received this award from your old school. Congrats, Dr. Terry.

Sincerly,

Eamonn Wall

Dear Terence, you'll never know how many words of your wisdom I've carried with me since NMAA days. So glad to see that young minds will continue to benefit. Thank you, friend.


Thanks, Eamonn.  Good to hear from you, as always.


Thanks, Karen. Always nice to hear from you.

Terence, this wonderful address must have kept the graduates riveted, often smiling, occasionally laughing, and always relieved that they were not hearing the usual run of yawn-inducing bromides. If the hood fits, wear it. It fits very well, and it came not a moment too soon. I suggest you wear it around the neighborhood—at the grocery store, when filling up the gas tqnk, buying shopping for floss, etc. When I receive my own honorary degree and am asked to give the commencement address, I may pay you the honor of stealing yours.


Thank you, Bill. My fees for re-using the speech are quite reasonable.

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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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THE RULE OF THUMB
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Ringfinger was nervous
Pinky terrified
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that Hand might succumb
to the rule of Thumb.

 

 


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