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July 15, 2022


My college room-mate was of Finnish descent. Her last name was unpronounceable. Some people in the dorm took to calling her Finn which she did not like one bit. All her ancestors lived in freezing-cold upper peninsula Michigan, because it reminded them of Finland. Barbara had the bluest eyes I have ever seen. James Tate's poem is an absolute marvel. It brought back lovely memories and cracked me up! It is definitely a Best American Poem. Thank you so much for posting it.

though i was older than tate he was my first poetry workshop teacher at the u of iowa in the 1960s where i was going on the gi bill after four years in the military and he had recently won the yale younger poets award...a year or so later Finnish poet anselm hollo arrived to teach and became a dear friend, thanx for the post, the delightful poem and the photo and the memories they generated...

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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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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