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November 16, 2013


I had just been reading "Tintern Abbey" this evening! W is about my favorite poet and I'm always inspired by his work: his perfect sonnets, "Intimations of Immortality" etc. It's all really "spontaneous overflow of emotion recollected in tranquility." What an amazing phrase and formulation!

Oh, and just one more thing, as Detective Columbo used to say. When David writes "there is not a single intentionally funny line" in Wordsworth, mustn't we ask (with Professor deMan!) whether we can really know the poet's intention? Perhaps EVERY line was intended to be funny, but Wordsworth didn't have a good sense of humor. Or maybe every line actually IS funny, and it's we who lack a sense of humor! Or maybe what doesn't seem funny now will be very funny later on. In fact, Wordsworth is getting funnier (imho) as time goes by -- and though some may say that was not his intention, Professor deMan again asks, "How do you know that? You a mind reader?" Remember what Joe Pesci said: "Funny how?! What in the FUCK is funny about me?!" Now that's funny!

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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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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