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« The Ashbery Amusement Park Initiated on His Birthday | Main | 2022 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony [by Greg Pattenaude] »

July 29, 2022


1-4: Hopper! Fun clues.

That was pretty easy, and the self- portrait was instantly recognizable by style, even if one knew nothing about Hopper's appearance!

Hedda Hopper was the mother of William Hopper, who played Paul Drake in the Perry Mason series. But here's the fun fact: she married DeWolf Hopper, an actor and vaudevillian, who gave the first known public recital of the poem "Casey At The Bat," by Ernest Thayer, which had been published (if I recall correctly) in a recent San Francisco Chronicle. Hopper went on to declaim (over-the-toply) the poem more than 10,000 times from then on. (Not a typo: ten thousand.) The first presentation was to an audience that included the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs baseball teams in the late 19th century. John McGraw, the Giants' manager and several veteran players were reputed to have cried, but DeWolf, who married five times (Hedda was the fifth) was prone to slight exaggeration. DeWolf was a maniac baseball fan and love the 'Jints.' Hedda Hopper was, of course, a 'gossip columnist,' big in '40s and '50s Hollywood, and quite a meddler in people's lives: she supported McCarthy and the HUAC blacklist, and named 'communists' in her column. Her memoir is entitled THE WHOLE TRUTH. And yes, I read the damn thing.

Funny he actually looks like Wallace Stevens.

Funny to think of Edward Hopper as a jazz-age artist, but he really was the ekphrastic equivalent of Aaron Copland ("Quiet City") or Sinclair Lewis ("Babbitt")

Funny, that rainy day is here.

Song of Water

The song of water
is not a constant song;
it sings of cypress and pine
and fireflies that flicker softly
against a city's neon grin.

(Thanks to Eclectica Magazine)

He's funny that way.

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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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