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« Starting a Zuihitsu on (Un)deliveries [by Lera Auerbach] | Main | COVID woke: the thrill of the live performance moment located »

April 25, 2021


love Ornette Coleman's advice!

I love the advice. I agree that Ornette Coleman's is the one closest to my heart. Thanks for this truly valuable poem!

sensational lesson for my poetry students, and for me.

Mark delivers words of wisdom in poetic lyric grand style!

Always something new to learn from poetry. Love this poem!

Love this poem: would love to see it as a broadside and distributed free to writers worldwide.

Many years ago, before I read any of Mark Pawlak’s verse, I remember reading about his "found materials" aesthetic. It misled me into thinking of the opportune scrounging of a magpie rather than the skill, inventiveness, and originality of the impressive poet he indisputably is. “Do’s and Don’t’s” has the impact of an impossible-to-ignore mosaic, in which the quotes are its colored stones, glass, and tiles inlaid with artful precision and sequence. There is a delicious soupcon of Strunk and White's dicta coursing through it, along with bon mots and sage sayings (such as the on-point quote from jazz legend Ornette Coleman) that brought a wide smile to my face. But it is Mark's own architectural ingenuity, spry wit, cascading cadence, and--in the third stanza--admission of “difficult” striving that enliven and embolden this definably un-derivative composition, making it a masterwork from a master poet.

Another insightful & erudite comment. Thanks, Earle.

Sinatra was plagiarizng -- I mean paraphrasing -- T. S. Eliot, one of Frank's favorite modern poets. Both were right, as are the others quoted here. "Chaperoned" is a tremendous choice of adjective in Pound's anti-adjective campaign.

Terrific poem. Regarding wrong notes, as a musician, given the number of wrong notes I've played over the decades, I suppose I could characterize myself an interesting player!

Great poem, great comments. I'm down with the broadside.

Echoing David Lehman echoing Ezra Pound, eff modifiers!

Actually, Howard, we've been meaning to have a talk with you about those wrong notes.

Today this especially resonates. Wrong notes everywhere. Cannot find the words to distinguish this poem, only to praise.

Thanks for a poem so nicely researched.

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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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