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September 23, 2011


I'm so glad you asked Jane about the role of storytelling in her work, Brian. Despite there often being few words in her poems, each one carries so much weight-- so much momentum-- that, yes, her poems often tell a story.

And her reply! I'm never going to forget:
"A string hung from a post is just a string. Tie it to another pole, tighten it, and you have the beginning of something, depending on what it’s made of—a stand up bass, a tie-line for a horse, a telegraph wire. It becomes useful."

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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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