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« "How To Be a Big League Critic" [by David Lehman] | Main | Squib 473, for David Lehman [by Alan Ziegler] »

August 29, 2021


Strong poem, direct, delightful

Good poem! Good album too !

Really good song, this one, from its colossal opening to the rush of the final phrase, with a fine scene built of striking pictures as it moves forward. High art.

what a marvelous delightful sweet innocent naughty-- up front poem! I love it!

I remember that photo! I had only bodice rippers to emulate way back when but I too knew at 7 I wanted to be that kind of Bad Girl. “Thanks for the memory….”

perfectly wrought poem, thank you for writing it teri, and thank you for posting it terry

Michael: Glad you liked it.

As an undergraduate college student who spun records for fraternity and sorority dances during the early disco era, I remember the BAD GIRLS LP cover very well, and Teri Ellen Cross Davis’s ekphrastic poem makes it all the more vivid in my mind. Her curiosity about sex at age seven in a way dovetails with what disco was meant to do: get people excited. For many, dancing was a vertical expression of a horizontal desire. And the unwritten rule was: no dance, no chance. Both women and men wanted to be wanted, but men’s open-chest flammable shirts and flared pants were no match for the ladies who looked Donna Summer-sultry on the dance floor. This sharply observed verse uses the alluring “bad girls” look of Donna Summer’s album cover art to tap into the simmer of Davis’s own sexual awakening. What a thoroughly engaging and rewarding tour de force her six couplets are.

Funny, just the other day I read something about the pouting lips and sexual display as covering a smoldering anger at having to act that way. It's good to get a different point of view, so engagingly expressed.

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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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