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« "Stick" [by James Cummins] | Main | The New York School Diaspora (Part Seventeen): Hannah Dow [by Angela Ball] »

October 24, 2021


Great poem.

"There the word father is the same as the word for listen." Wonderful line in an arresting poem.

I am a big fan of Reginald Dwayne Betts. I’m so glad you made him your pick and this is a fantastic poem to feature!

Thanks, Abbie. I'm glad you liked it.

What an amazing poem, thank you for writing it and for posting it.

Love this poem. Strong and a bit wistful. This poem had me remembering my own father who was a great listener.

Sometimes a poem is more than a poem. A prayer, a prophesy, a light.

Betts is a favorite of mine. Thanks for posting this beauty.

Thanks back to you, Clarinda.

Betts is a genius. This poem manages to be intensely personal and yet it lets you into some secrets about the world; not just his world. Thanks for sharing.

Eileen: glad you liked it.

What a terrific poem, packed with surprising detail, urgent. I love how conversational the language is while all along the poem stays set in a musical measure that doesn't distract, impede, and the words run forward.

When the poet holds his little son in his arms, he can now speak of his father's leaving. I think that he "speaks on it" directly to his dead father and indirectly through naming his son after his father. This two-fold speaking is his prayer that his father will be a listener, but he knows that won't happen, and we share his sorrow.

Mr. Betts' "Million Book Project" is an absolute act of heroism. Object: get as many books to prisoners as possible/expand that idea eventually toward a pedagogy. This guy is a force of nature.


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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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