Click image to order
Never miss a post
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields
Correct invalid entries


« "Homage" [by Tony Towle] | Main | For Summer: Poems by Latina/o/xs: Joshua Escobar »

July 12, 2020


Thank you, Terence, for posting this poem and those perfectly chosen photos. And thanks for the memories, Mr Lally. I agree with Chas Bernstein's string of adjectives. -- DL

One can say the night the music died, along with the poetry, along with our innocence, along with our hope. And then we come across a poem like this one and we are given a wake-up potion, made of love, and we think despite the killing of our hopes we can go on and must go on, loving and loving and loving. Thank you Michael. thank you Terence. Thank you Babe. Thank you John.

Truly resonates. I heard about Lennon’s death on the radio as I drove to Beltway U, one the several part time teaching jobs per day an adjunct prof awkwardly held. My students were shocked and derisive because I was crying. Sic semper whatever. Thanks terry and thanks Michael lalley

Wonderful poem! All the more special because this afternoon I came across--and reread--Michael Lally's terrific piece on Terence Winch in the June 1977 issue of The Poetry Project Newsletter (edited by Ted Greenwald). (I could make a PDF if anyone is interested).--Alan

Michael’s poverty is both deeply and intensely personal - and Widely Universal. He has Gifted us with his Words. 💜

Thanks for your comment (and I know you mean "poetry" not "poverty").

Thanks, Alan. That's great that you have Michael's piece from the newsletter. He and I have been best friends for a long time now.

Thanks, Clarinda. I also wept profusely when I heard the news of his death. A black day for the world.

You are so right, mon ami.

Thank you, DL.

Very interesting choice. Feels like one of Michael's most Frank O'Hara-like poems: Is it a conscious homage to "The Day Lady Died"? There's some writer, maybe Alberto Moravia, who says that there's a reason we don't remember life like a continuous film of everything that we ever done, but as a set of meaningful moments, because we can always step in and out of them--that's what life really is. not a chronology but that continual present. Or, uh, something like that.

Thanks for this excellent comment, Bernard. -- DL

I wonder whether somehow you could post Lally on Winch from the June 1977 issue of the PPN. Say, wasn't that the month of your party on one side of the Atlantic, and the south of France, redolent with bougainvillea and broom, on the other? -- DL


What's the difference? ;)

Thank you, Bernard. Beautifully expressed.

Do I always have to explain everything to you, David?

thanks to you Terence, and to all for the comments, and Bernie I wasn't thinking of O'Hara's poem though it is so much a part of me it couldn't help but influence me in some way...I first wrote about the Babe Ruth's death experience in a poem when I was 18 in 1960, it resonated so deeply in me as a kid because it was such a singular experience in my memory, until John...

"...It’s hard to
recognize even the most familiar

Yes, and this is why Michael's poetry is so vital.

Thank you Terry for sending this poem out. It is a beauty--cuts through the boushwah with the patented Lally knife.
The day after Lennon's murder, I was on a train going through NYC from Boston on way to Philly to do research on Irish American writing. The train seemed to go in slow motion through the city. Weighed down by the sadness everyone felt. What an abomination, what a waste. All best to Terry, Michael and all their loved ones in these tough times.
Charlie Fanning

Thanks, Charlie. Great to hear from you.

I like the journey this poem takes us on, its shift in key a couple of times, including the nice hop into the last 15, 16 lines, when the speaker climbs out of the frame and/or steps forward in time, reflecting back on all he's shown and told us. Not to mention the compression, and the great shock of the wonderful Mrs. Murphy's announcement of Babe's passing not John's. The poem's rooted in this vivid opening dramatic scene before its heart opens out.

I like the journey this poem takes us on, its shift in key at a couple of places including the nice hop into the last 15,16 lines, when the speaker climbs out of the frame and steps forward in time to think back on what's happened. Not to mention the compression, everything each line holds, with melody, and the shock of the full-bodied scene where the great Mrs. Murphy announces Babe's death not John's. The poem's well rooted in the drama of these opening lines before its heart opens out.

Beautiful journey here, with great shifts in key at a couple of points including the nice hop into the final 15,16 lines, where the speaker climbs out of the frame stepping forward in time to reflect on all that's happened. Not to mention the compression, what each line holds, with melody, plus the pleasing shock of Mrs. Murphy's announcement of Babe's passing not John's. The poems well rooted in these vivid dramatic opening lines, before its heart opens out.

I love the Babe Ruth - John Lennon parallels and myths and the soft journey of this poem., especially now as we are without baseball
and without John Lennon.

Thank you -- Karen

Thanks for your comment, Karen.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

click image to order your copy
That Ship Has Sailed
Click image to order
BAP ad
"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


  • StatCounter