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January 19, 2022


This was one of John Forbes' favourite poems. I recall him reciting it at parties, that's right at parties. "Christ!" he announced after one such reading. "It's enough to make you go out and shoot yourself!"

And for those you hear who announce "Ignorance is bliss..." [not knowing where that comes from and thus its full extent] please alert them to the entire quote or better still the whole poem.

"But Gray’s poem is more radical, the poet less willing to talk himself out of his gloom." Thank you, David, for giving me a greater appreciation for Thomas Gray.

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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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