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August 02, 2022

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Having studied at Brasenose College, she teaches at Brown Nose University.

Is the new green the unseen?

If it's green,
goose the machine.
If it's red,
don't: you'll be dead.

Thanks for your comment, but I think you're making assumptions that you probably wouldn't make if we met face to face. My entire education was through public school systems, and I paid for my college and graduate degrees by working as a waitress. That's not to say anything about your reception of the poetry, but just to correct the fact that I do not have an Oxford education--and also to take the opportunity to say that many people who do have degrees from Oxford have earned them through extreme hard work, and not through unearned privilege. To equate Oxford with privilege is an outdated presumption--as is equating Brown with the same. Brown's record of inclusive admissions is really quite impressive, and for the past 20 years or more, they've made it the core of their ethos.

I come back to this because I feel that what's really at issue here is the fact that it's the writer, and often, as here, imagined or even invented by the respondent, that's being critiqued rather than the writing itself. I can't imagine that anyone really cares what you think of me, while many might be very interested in what you have to say about a specific piece of writing.

Dear Cole Swenson: The Internet being what it is, people behave like drivers in a traffic jam hurling curses at other motorists from the safety of their car. Please pay them no mind. The chances are the first writer was charmed by the sounds of Brasenose and Brown Nose and proceeded without regard for the writing of green, let alone the actual feelings of an actual author.
There is magic in green -- the green of primavera, of leaves of grass, and even of money.

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly

Radio

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

ThisWayOut
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