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« Late News from Poland (on O'Hara, Koch, and the NY School) [by Angela Ball] | Main | Ashes Ashes All Fall Down [by Angela Ball] »

March 05, 2014


Agreed that the apostrophe, in "New Addresses," is a major advance for Kenneth -- and especially wonderful that it came so late in his career. He was always haunted by the fear that his best work was collected in "Thank You" (1962) but he crafted at least three new styles, of which the apostrophe, because of its autobiographical dimension, seems the most exhilarating. Nice analysis, Angela.

The apostrophes seem a natural follow to the introspection that starts in The Art of Love, especially given the second "Circus." I don't remember Kenneth being haunted by the fears of everything being in Thank You --though he did often wonder why his later readings were often greeted with laughter when he wasn't being funny. It was just expected that he would be. That Kenneth gives us a more nuanced emotional voice in the last several decades of his life is one of the joys of his poetry.

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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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