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« Remembering My Dad on Veterans Day [by Stacey Lehman] | Main | Maureen McLane: Pick of the Week [ed. Terence Winch] »

November 11, 2022


Fun to sit in on this conversation about O’Hara, a poet of charismatic offbeat offhand surges of emotion, imagination. Grateful for what David has done (and continues to do) for poetry. Grateful for these Saturday BAP musings.

Hi Dave,

When you played with my name, you got "Dead;" assuming you played the same game with your earlier critic, Harold Bloom, did you get "Doom?" As he told you, after finding no merit at all in your 1996 edition, "Printing, praising, and teaching bad poems for the sake of even the best causes is simply destructive for those causes."

He was generous enough to say that to you at a time when Clinton was the epitome of a lying, cheating politician. Look where we are today. Us baby boomers saw it happen, the academy's capitulation to market forces. I doubt that I am the only poet still outside the market fortress - I know I'm not, not by a long shot, but everywhere I turn I see only windmills.

Yr pal,

p.s. Professor Bloom was bothered by Maya Angelou's Inauguration poem; consider how far we've fallen to arrive at the level of the one performed at Biden's swearing-in!

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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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