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February 07, 2023


Obviously, I misspoke. Larkin was librarian of Hull, not Bath.

I didn't know Larkin was tongue-tied socially, he was snarky and outspoken in his letters, wasn't he? And then there were the kinks. What an oddity he was -- a mess, actually, except for his poetry. It all came together in his poetry, elevated and meticulous. I guess that's what matters 'cause that's what lasts -- or, lasts longer than the person and his personality, anyway.

Thanks, Suzanne! Yes, PL had a spanking good personal life. I'm sure he wasn't tongue-tied with Kingsley, et al. I'm trying to be funny, but seriously think British snarky reserve met American spontaneity and openness and kindness, and the rest is history. But I don't think anyone else could have lunch with Phil and Franny and not feel renewed and recharged.

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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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