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« "Columbia College 1967, #24" [by Mitch Sisskind] | Main | "The bad guy isn't supposed to win": The Late Nick Tosches' Take on Sonny Liston [by David Lehman] »

January 16, 2020


Many thanks for this commentary, the Longfellow poem -- which is fabulous -- and the video link. Hillary Clinton's book "What Happened" also quotes poets and other literary people, such as Flannery O'Connor and George Bernard Shaw, though of course these are in book form rather than the context of a public speech. A new chapter opens with lines from Carl Sandberg, but elsewhere an altogether different sort of voice, Marge Piercy -- makes sense, because she's a poet who would've been quite in evidence when HRC was coming into her own. Here's the Piercy quote:
"I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart/who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,/who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,/who do what has to be done, again and again."

We could've had a very different sort of president.

What an extraordinary, chilling poem. It calls to mind one of my favorite Emily Dickinson poems: "One need not be a Chamber--to be haunted."

Powerful poem. Too bad she quoted the Paul Revere lines instead of "Haunted Houses" by the now underrated, even neglected, Longfellow.

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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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