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« Squibs 299—306 [by Alan Ziegler] | Main | Is a market top on tap? "Noodles" weighs in [by David Lehman] »

June 20, 2019


Like your agenda this week Jeffrey, in praise of the irrational and mysterious, which is at the heart of almost all great lyric poetry. The transformational line for me here is "I make like a dead saint," raising and changing the stakes of the poem. The embodied spirit. I'm assuming this Prado poem is translated by Ellen Watson. She's a wonderful translator of Prado, one of my favorite poets too.

Thanks, Ira. It's the many ways that of "saint" that work for me, with implications of innocence, blessedness, getting away with it, and the feint of death. Yes, it's Ellen Watson. We (Tupelo) published her translation of Ex-Voto (really, a collection of poems from various sources), and Adelia Prado came to Williamstown for a launch and dinner party. Extraordinary woman. Extraordinary women. Adelia read everything in Brazilian Portuguese, and Ellen, her English translations. Two embodied spirits. Anyway, not a day goes by when I don't think fondly and gratefully about what you've meant to me, Ira, as mentor and friend. Treat yourself to some Mozart today. No. 22 isn't heard enough, the adagio utterly transcendent.

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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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