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« In which I return to the symbol of lion honey [by Jennifer Michael Hecht] | Main | "Yes, We Have No Bananas" in Yiddish »

December 03, 2009


I love the quotations from presidents past. Truman sounds unscripted, whereas Kennedy's speechwriters seem always to strive for oratory of the old school. Not just the allusion to Milton's sonnet on his blindness, but the robust phrasing calls attention to itself: "Many serve, all applaud, and the tide of patriotism runs high." This is writing high, a partner of riding high, as if each paragraph should contain at least one phrase that a novelist or historian might lift to serve as the title of a book. "The Long Slow Struggle." "The Invisible Foe."

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That Ship Has Sailed
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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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