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« Meet the Press: Nin Andrews in conversation with Andrea Selch of Carolina Wren Press | Main | So you think you know your standards. . . [by David Lehman] »

December 02, 2012


As Walt Frazier would say, "so nice, let's read it twice." -- DL

yes WCW did say that in the essay "The Tortuous Straightness of Chas. Henri Ford" in his collected essays.

He said: "To me the sonnet form is thoroughly banal because it is a word in itself whose meaning is definitely fascistic. To use it subverts most intelligences."

Not to over-parse WCW, his "it" in the second sentence refers to "the word itself," that is, "sonnet." He thinks the sonnet FORM is "banal" because a poem's being tagged as a sonnet "subverts most intelligences." So the form isn't fascistic—the designation is.

That said, if "Nothing in that Drawer" is a sonnet, I'm Santa Claus.

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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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