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« Back to School [by Jennifer Michael Hecht] | Main | From "The Song Remains the Same" by Craig Morgan Teicher »

September 10, 2009


Perfect timing: Nicholson Baker makes much of Wendy Cope -- as well he should -- in his ballyhooed new novel "The Anthologist."

“Four Quartets” Revisited
by Belle Randall

On opening a long unopened book,
what odor rises from the parting pages,
what genie is released, what dark spell broken,
as if some spirit trapped inside for ages,

By this hinge swung open were set free?
My father’s hand has jotted in the margins
its own blunt text of what must be
lecture notes, and planted his place marker

Like a flag among “The Dry Salvages”—
a UC “schedule card,” a blank
grid for weekly classes, and on the back,
O fees and late fees time alone assuages—

We know the longhand’s labored look
was mine, but why that child should scrawl
a phrase so apt for now’s beyond recall:
on opening a long unopened book.

Source: Poetry magazine (September 2009)

Don, This is terrific. Thank you! May I post it on the blog (not as just a comment but as a feature)? Will credit the magazine, of course. I don't have the issue, but would like to run the contributor's note and would be grateful for it.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


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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