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« Poets' Jeopardy [by Mindy Aloff] | Main | A protective blanket of words [by Lera Auerbach] »

January 10, 2021


Terence, when you said "the universe of this poem" you said it right. There's a universe here we understand well because eloquence is made colloquial. So we are invited in, present as she speaks, with her every moment. What a construct for "Blue." How many beautiful words poet Smoker give us to see it clearly.

Well-said, Grace.

A lovely poem by a beautiful person who I well remember from meeting her at the National Museum of the American Indian, back in the day. Thanks for this, Terence.

Thanks for the comment, Grace.

Thanks, Howard. Mandy is certainly memorable.

Poems often poorly paired with pictures, but this lovely piece—Flathead Lake right there—just great. Thank you M.L. Smoker, thank you Terence.

Ah but she is a painter. Even without the perfect picture posted below it, a new blue that I can actually see emerges in this brilliant poem.

Thanks for the response, Jerry.

Thanks, Beth. Yeah--the best blue since Joni Mitchell.

How many ways our hearts get broken are only eclipsed by the many ways it gets healed.

Thank you, curator.

Beautiful 💙

Thanks for that response, amigo.

As are you, Eileen.

What a wonderful poem that brings up so many feelings and images. Thank you for sharing this.

-Thanks, Linda. I'm glad you liked it.

Love the way the visible becomes invisible:

"spelling out in blue beads on blue beads
each of our names, our collective history
in an invisible pattern only we would recognize."

and then:
"if it is the same blue you’re made of?"

Unseen, but still there.

wow, just wow

Epistolary brilliance, relentless blue,"this wind"!

What a great poem. I especially revere writing and art that get at what everyone is feeling but hasn't yet found the words or images for, like this one. And it feels like a great week to be posting it.

There is something central to Indian country in this poem, Terence. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. The universal becomes specific in the poem, a common way in much Native thought, but there is also the invisible element, the spirit of not only the color blue but the life in beads and lake waters and sky and even the rest of the universe. Life is not on the surface, what we see, but in what we see and what we do not see, the totality that encompasses history, family, physical representations of of history and family and day to day living, and, of course, earth and nature itself. At least to me this is an important, important poem.

Thanks for that wise reading of the poem, Tom.-

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That Ship Has Sailed
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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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