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« Hans Christian Andersen’s "Tin Soldier" as Adapted by Jon Voight [by Joe Lehman] | Main | Elizabeth A.I. Powell on Rituals and Spells so Nothing Heinous Happens [by Nin Andrews] »

April 17, 2022

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A badddd bard and what not

I really like how this poem stays on the beam and focusses ever more surprisingly on the matter at hand, with fresh and clear gestures in a steady stream all the way down.
It's also interesting to imagine the dramatic scene these words grow out of. Strong poem--I'm glad Terence's shown it to us.


Don: Thanks for the comment.

The final two-and-a-half lines save this poem with the real lesson. I don’t accept what the grandfather is teaching, as he leads up to those last lines, but that doesn’t change my admiration for how beautifully the poem works.

full of surprises, some expected, some un-, all contributing to the dramatic energy of the poem

Great poem!! Who says poetry does nothing? This one made all hundred pounds of me stand up and practice the positions. I will smile and apologize to anybody I have to use this advice on.

The great thing about this poem is it says one thing and means another--like the great metaphysical poets. Major Jackson is among them.

"Your shadow"! Yes.

"Nest fear inside but don't tremble." That's the trick, isn't it, both in fighting and writing.

Wise stuff. Grace Cavalieri, I very much appreciate your comment--really simply explains what I look for in the dynamic of a poem-like subtext in a play.
Many times a week I think of the great quote from Mike Tyson:
"Everybody's got a plan until they get punched in the face."

Great conclusion, and I love the revival of the Brown Bomber and his first-round knockout of Max Schmeling. Nice work if you can get it, and I speak as one who has boxed! Kudos.

Indeed, my code coming up too.

But a guy who punched me hardest has never helped me back up. Iʻve been waiting near 55 years now.

Love the tight, taut rhythms of this one, like Joe Louis in-close himself!

I think that to know "what your shadow is made" must mean to be calmly mindful of the techniques you mastered by shadowboxing. Developing that calmness then allows you to extend a helping hand to your downed adversary.

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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

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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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