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« The Divine Comedy [by Mitch Sisskind] | Main | What Remains? [by Lera Auerbach] »

July 09, 2021


The paper industry, aided by people on campus, allow you to believe there is a market for your resentments and insecurities, so long as you obscure them with eloquence, wit, and charm. Write on, girl.

Dave Read, if it's an art to make a compliment sound like an insult, you've mastered it. BTW shouldn't it be "allows" in your first sentence?

Yes it should, Tony, thank you. My search for collaborators in my poet's insurgency against the academy has so far only made me look like a bully and/or a boor. Believe me, I'm a wicked good dude.

Dave, I'm sure I am not the only one who would cheer your campaign against the academic know-nothings who live in theory-land guaranteed by tenure. A more amiable tone may work to your rhetoircal advantage.

I'm working on that, Tony. Camped on L. Ontario last week and celebrated my daughter's 50th birthday. That re-focused my attention, put things in proper perspective. Is Williams' Spring and All - the book, of any importance to you - or the poetry clique, in general? Seems to me he got overwhelmed by Pound and Eliot, ex-pats who set the table we're gorging at now.

Play Skool

As the impressment of American sailors dropped
the British another rung down the ladder of states,
all the way down to Pirate’s Cove,

The impressment of poetry* shall dunk the
American academy lower still – it’ll
be deep-sixed, by Jove.

Dave Read

*Since the 1970 expose´ of the Famous Writer’s School, more than 800 “creative writing” programs have sprung up on American college campuses.

Dave, I personally like "Spring and All" a lot and would recommend that an aspiring poet start with WCW rather than Ezra Pound. Eliot is not so easily written off. You have a 50 year old daughter? And here I thought you were in your 50s.

That construct, aspiring poet, is what gives me pause, Tony. Poets discover their calling by going inward, not to college (unless to trespass the library and pub)! I'm just reading about poor Tom's first marriage, and being cuckolded by his teacher, Bertram Russell, maybe by invitation. Why care what such a troubled, if literate, creature has to say? Poetry is speech, if it is anything.

The American Revolution wasn't simply politics - it is about what it means to be free born, not born a subject. Pound, Eliot, at al were too small for America, and had to crawl back to the lap of an essentially fascist aristocracy.

Dylan Thomas, on the other hand, was too big for England, but too stupid/immature for the open bar of America. And now, his namesake is about to knock Will S. off the PhD dissertation throne! I can't believe I let this soap opera bother me!

WCW delivered 40,000 babies, and wrote more than one perfect poem, and also rocked the 1913 Armory Show, which determined the art market for a century. What should the Poetry Foundation do with its ill-gotten $250,000,000 - feed the hungry, house the homeless, or provide a fully-staffed Duchy for Amanda, Lady Gordon?

Bertrand Russell had a great mind but knew no moral restraint.

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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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