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« Parmigianino and His Poets [by Mindy Aloff] | Main | From “A Parliament of Flesh: Reclaiming the Body through Erotic Expression" [by Andrea Applebee] »

August 31, 2021


An excellent poem by one of my all-time faves, and what an insightful comment. Thank you, Ms Ball.

What's a canebreak?

Thanks, Molly! I wish you lived across the street. And Angela is something else! As for "canebrake," Bruno, I have no idea. But when I read Angela's comments for the first time yesterday morning, I thought it sort of an example of the "postmodernism" she refers to: I just lifted it out of Tennessee Ernie Ford's hit song "Sixteen Tons." Such thievery is common among us pomosexuals.

I believe canebrake refers either to athicket of grasses or a part of Alabama (or both):
I was born one mornin', it was drizzlin' rain
Fightin' and trouble are my middle name
I was raised in the canebrake* by an ol' mama lion
Cain't no-a high-toned woman make me walk the line
You load sixteen tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint peter don't you call me 'cause i can't go
I owe my soul to the company store.

A canebrake (also canebreak) is a thicket of giant grasses. Think bamboo-tall.

Enjoyed the poem! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Molly, Bruno, Jim, David, and Annette.
I'm proud to have posted this fine poem.

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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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