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« "The Day Was a Bargain" [by Ron Horning] | Main | Traveling and Returning [by Tami Haaland] »

November 30, 2018


Well-done. Great poet-as-birds section. (I have thought of associating poets with hats.)The opening exchange is superb. I happen to agree with Ashbery regarding political poetry, most defenses of which are lame. The comparison of political poetry to carpe diem is delightful, not merely because unexpected and valuable as a kind of metaphysical conceit. Much (most) political poetry fails because the language is stale, the substance prepackaged, etc. The poems written by soldiers on the front, in danger, are something else entirely -- real experience informs the writing. I am rambling but did want to add one problem, and that has to do with the perceived correctness of the views a political poem may express. Thus there is an additional criterion that the category requires. (With carpe diem poems perhaps should we ask ourselves how effective each may be in achieving its specific goal? Probably not.) But then it's hard to imagine a beautiful poem that happens to be imbued with the ideals of the Third Reich.Lastly, the category itself: is Tennyson's "Ulysses" a political poem? Anyway. . .thanks! -- DL

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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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