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« Tonight at KGB: Post-AWP Open Mic Competition | Main | Available for Pre-Order: Sinatra's Century by David Lehman »

April 13, 2015


Thanks for your honesty. I enjoyed your bio-blog probably because I too came by poetry by accident. Engineer > technical sales > men's movement > Robert Bly > Galway Kinnel > Poof!

I also "like what I like" and have recently learned to be non apologetic.

Excellent beginning to a week I look forward to of you at the helm of what my hometown paper describes in the header as "a 'best' anthology [blog] that really lives up to its name" -- and I'm glad you let off some steam it seems. Now you can roll up your sleeves and tell us as a person who doesn't "even like most poetry" -- which gives you a clear eye in a unique way, why it matters, why it should matter.

Tim - I often wonder whether anyone anywhere anyhow is truly a poet. I certainly waited 80 years before I dared to use the word to describe myself. Like you, what I know is that words are my fuel. I like stringing them together, hearing their sounds, finding their uses, and most of all - expressing my thoughts. Does that make a poet? I have no idea. Beyond that, what makes a good poet? Only the poet inside me can respond.

THANK YOU! I don't have as colorful a past, but I do understand the sentiment. I tell everyone that I am a writer, not a poet, because I don't want that awkward moment when they can't respond without looking quizzical. And yet, after three books, I think I'm probably a poet.

Maybe you are more affected by your father's evidently negative view of poets and poetry than you think, ironically? Or you are rejecting that view with everything you do, which is to be a poet of another kind?

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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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