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« Here's to you, Hoagy Carmichael | Main | WORKING SPACE: WAITING ROOMS [by Jennifer Clarvoe] »

December 11, 2020


I like the style of this poem and the use of such phrases as "now here is the funny part" and "what are the odds." Refreshing.

Really enjoyed the poem, though isn't what Einstein famously said that "god doesn't play dice with the universe"? Can you write a poem about that?

Hi, thanks for your message and I'm glad you enjoyed the poem. In writing it I tried to research the quote which, as you can see on the link below, gradually took on a life of its own. The first and most complete version of the quote seems to have been in a 1926 letter:

Die Quantenmechanik ist sehr achtung-gebietend. Aber eine innere Stimme sagt mir, daß das doch nicht der wahre Jakob ist. Die Theorie liefert viel, aber dem Geheimnis des Alte bringt sie uns kaum näher. Jedenfalls bin ich überzeugt, daß der nicht würfelt.

I love the phrase "der wahre Jakob" -- "the true Jacob" -- which I had never seen before and I would have liked to use it in the poem but couldn't see a way to do it. Meanwhile I did take liberties with the dice quote, which possibly exists in several versions.

Here's the link that I found most helpful:

Best wishes,

Thank you for these helpful links. I always wondered what Einstein meant.

I, too, love the "true Jacob." As opposed to what? Not Esau, a brute but true to his nature. More likely the "true Jacob" is he who has wrestled the angel of god to a standstill, been wounded, and won the blessing of a new name.

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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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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