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December 15, 2020


Thank you very much for posting the section on Edwin Denby. His "Song" grows more magical with each re-reading. The severe portrait of him (on cinder block!), an icon of a latter-day saint, is not the angel-on-the-roof in Rudy Burckhardt's photographs of him or the twinkling spirit in the films: There is no playfulness in this Edwin Denby, forever the oldest soul in the room. Bill Berkson's remembrance (well worth following to the next Web site) is a treasure on its own terms.

Denby's poems and his dance criticism--especially the long essays he wrote after he stopped practicing daily reviewing--remain fresh and alive, sometimes like a spring breeze and sometimes like an unanticipated slap. Just when one thinks one has figured him out, his writing opens up a door to a new aspect of his sensibility, often a wilder aspect than even one of his readers of longstanding suspected to be there. In wildness is the preservation of the world, of course, and it's a great pleasure to find a reminder of that via today's Denby corner of the Best American Poetry blog.

". . .sometimes like a spring breeze and sometimes like an unanticipated slap." Wonderful comment, Mindy. Thank you. -- DL

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