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« Happy birthday, Willis Reed, Captain of the Championship Knicks | Main | The Questions They Should Ask the Candidates (without telling them in advance) [by David Lehman] »

June 26, 2019

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Congratulations on retirement! A wise decision and one you won't regret. You will write more, read more, sleep more, have fun, and think less and less about the odious aspects of the academic racket. Though unlike you and him, I believe in immortality, I like Longenbach's attitude as you sum it up: "JL replied that since his own poems wouldn't be among the six or eight poets who would still be read in a hundred years, he saw no reason to write negatively about anyone else's work." -- DL

Gradually, the academic racket is quieting down in my head. Your piece, "How To Be a Big-League Critic," says it all. I've turned in office keys, ID, and my rear-view mirror.

As Walter Neff would say, "I love you, too."

Brilliant and wonderful definition of "immortality," Jim. An "expansiveness," something that "stops time for awhile." You're a gem, Jim. Your intelligence is humane and helpful. LaWanda

Thank you, LaWanda, very much! I can say the same about your poems, like the one in the current (?) issue of Poetry. All best to you and yours.

Poor old Walter Neff! The iconic 35-year-old who has it all figured out, only to find himself on the next train to the cemetery. Fred MacMurray is perfect.

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

Radio

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

ThisWayOut
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