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« David Lehman and Linda Gregerson at KGB Bar | Main | The Well-Versed Movie [by Stacey Harwood-Lehman] »

April 22, 2018


I cannot perceive what you or Koch or O'Hara or anyone else can appreciate in this poem. It seems to me to exemplify what people hate in modern poetry: no music, no meaning; no beauty; no intelligence. Is it some kind of inside joke among NY School poets? You owe it to your readers to take them through a line by line understanding of its worth. (I also saw nothing o merit in the Oxford anthology inclusions.)

This is what is known as bad poetry, which as agents we get every week from would-be poets. Does a random assemblage of words make that aesthetic? Bad enough at the opposite end we get those who can write decent prose in small quantities. And so many are would-be stand-up comedians posing as poets.
I might add here that the new poetry editor of the NYer seems so far to have exercised poor taste if he is responsible for the past 2 or 3 weeks. You can't even call what he has published poetry.

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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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