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« Santé, Bonheur! Joy! Imagination! Discernment! Thoughts on some upcoming dance and performance [By Tracy Danison] | Main | Kenneth Koch: The Poem Writes Itself [by David M. Katz] »

January 08, 2023


Very glad to see this poem here. Says so much, evokes more, in a way that feels artful yet thoroughly honest. Thank you, Cathy and Terence.

I find this such a beautiful view of grief - surrounded by loneliness and friends with tiny pockets of escapism. Wonderful poem!

Ah this is such a beautiful poem rolling through loving grief. I did not know Doug except via his work and of course Terry, but this poem touches my own grief and love experiences of recent years. Only change I would make is near the end make it a double--or triple--shot of Writers' Tears! Thanks for this poem! Slainte!

Thanks for the comment, Beth.

I cried for the love of this poem and, knowing Doug, doubles the whammy.

I salute Eisenhower and this elegiac variant on the "things to do" form. Great allusion to "Mad Men," a terrific show that should be the subject of poems and essays.

The geography of this poem is the city in which we loved Doug and were changed utterly. Thank you. love and poetry Indran

ps I noticed in your bio your translation of Diana Bellessi, a friend from one of my homes, Argentina.

What a tour de force!
Thanks, both of you.

Love this Cathy. Loving the new Doug Lang book that Rod just published. xx

Clarinda: thanks for tuning in.

This is a terrific riff on grief, memory, allegiances. It's a deep, deep dive into 'Internal Difference' where, our Better taught us, 'the Meanings, are.' Thanks so much Cathy and Terence. Surprisingly, I felt elation at poem's end, all the sadness transformed. Not so easy to do in life or poetry.

Robert: thanks for that great response.

terrific expression of the impact of doug's life and work and presence, and now absence....

This is a beautiful heartfelt poem. I loved every line of it. So tender. 💔

Thank you, Cathy. (I'm fine, by the way. I think if this answer were a poem by Doug Lang it would say "Everybody's fine.")
I think Doug Lang may have inspired more poems (and more unheralded poems) than any other recent poet writing in English. You never read his stuff without wanting to write something yourself, usually in response. I hope people are poring over the poems decades from now--partly because I hope there are people decades from now--and feeling the close and direct presence of someone they feel like they know, the way I read Keats sometimes and feel like, Hey, I know this guy. Doug Lang is the poetry equivalent of the actor that one would happily hear read the phone book.
(Yes, that's right -- the phone book. An actual book of names and phone numbers. What a concept.)

A wonderful reflection of — and on — Doug and his life/work. Thanks so much, Cathy.

Doug Lang is a new name to me and this rich poem abounds in allusions beyond me. Online searching soon showed me an obituary for Doug written by Terence. My sympathy, Terence, on the passing of a close friend. The name Mulatu Astatke explained the reference to jazz, for he combined Ethiopian music and jazz and became known as the father of Ethio-jazz. One obituary for Doug asked for donations to the Maple Farm Sanctuary, a home for rescued farm animals whose advocates hold that these creatures should not be our food. After all, they want to live. If I may adapt a phrase from fellow respondent Bernard Welt: Hey, I know these guys!

Thanks, Peter. Doug was indeed one my closest friends ever. He was a brilliant writer and a charismatic person, beloved by many.

Terrific poem!

This is a wonderful poem that gives me so many pictures and memories of Doug and you and poetry readings in DC and Baltimore. Thank you, Cathy.

Amazing poem. Thank you for sharing!

Dear Mike: Thanks for your comment.

Thanks, Cathy:

That about sums it up - beautifully.

Oh, man. This breaks my heart. Thank you, Cathy & Terence.

Elinor: Thanks for the comment.

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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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