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« "The Morning Line" by David Lehman: Poetry Feature of the Month on "The Common" | Main | Bill Zavatsky: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] »

October 01, 2021


Slobodnik was pound for pound the best of the many janitors in the running.

Maybe. But I'm partial to Williamson from North Carolina, who, after the Beatles came over in '64, the kids called "Moptop" because he didn't have any hair.

Underrated for sure.

I like a rainbow of tears. Did you make that up?

Whatever happened to the bon vivant ideal? Including Playboy, NY night clubs, Hollywood and Vegas?

I believe Ashbery wrote that phrase.

Whom does the Dwarf represent?

I'm not certain when JA wrote "Thoughts of a Young Girl" but it appeared in his book "The Tennis Court Oath" (1962.) I believe that autobiographical content in JA's work is more overt in his early work than later, and I also believe that as he got older he looked more like a dwarf than before. But he seems always to have had something of a dwarf-like mien, so perhaps there is a self-referential element in "Signed, The Dwarf." Also, as a widely-read individual who also looked like a dwarf, JA must have known Poe's amazing dwarf story "Hop Frog," as well as Pär Lagerkvist's 1944 novel "The Dwarf."

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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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