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« "And I will know each trembling of a leaf": John Ashbery's Translations from the French [by David Lehman] | Main | Is Eliot Trending? [by Walter Carey] »

April 12, 2022


Thank you for the above, and a name that until now was unknown to me.

Thanks. I really liked the style in which it's written


This piece is haunting and resonant, in the style of a fable. Though the woman of four syllables has evaded death, her fate seems unresolved.

I remember in the Humanities Program at Seattle U, when we studied the Upanishads, one of our classmates was very taken with this phrase, which opened such vistas of thought and spirit to all of us. He used to recite the phrase in a super-basso voice, almost too low for our hearing, with an air of great solemnity. It was a bit chilling, but also funny -- but we weren't sure if he was being humorous. He later left the program and enlisted in the Navy; we heard that he was on carriers off the coast of Vietnam, but never heard more. "Neti - Neti" had captured his imagination for reasons beyond our understanding.

Thanks for this piece, Nina Kossman!

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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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