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May 15, 2016


The sentences selected in Porcupines were rendered aphoristic by extraction, but at the same time rendered metamorphic by relocation into their contexts. The specimens were all double-refracted. They all, I think, had a stance sufficient to hold the page as an aphorism under fire, but they also had their context available as a place of retreat. When an author launches into a salvo of aphorisms there are many pitfalls, not least the problem of portentiousness. I don't know precisely what makes a sentence portentious. But some just are. They then are orotund and bloated corpses on the slab of the page.

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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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