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« Squibs 486-487: Charles Simic [by Alan Ziegler] | Main | The Year Kay Ryan Went to AWP (To Cover It): 4 Excerpts »

March 12, 2023


Thank you. Shorter than Paradise Lost, and pithier, but theologically compelling.
I remember people in the '70s saying, "'Original sin'? Seriously, that's the same old sin that's been around for *ages*. You want original sin, I'll show you original sin. Idiosyncratic sin. Vanguard sin. *Highly* original sin."
Or words to that effect.

This is an admirable poem by a very talented, perennially underrated poet whose rhetorical skills and frankly intellectual cast of mind enliven a mode too little seen in contemporary verse. Thank you, Larry. . .and Terence whose pick this is. . .and Bernard for the very charming comment.

Thank you. Original blessing is the God's own truth.

How Poetry makes Theology better---

Thank you, Larry, for this fine poem. Thank you, Terence, for bringing to us! It makes me want to get back to my writing desk.

Thanks back to you, Gardner. Nice to hear from you.

Beautiful! Thank you, Terence. I am a big fan of Lawrence's work.

Thanks for that comment, Denise.

I like this poem for distilling scripture to the bassinet. And for reminding me of the forgotten new-wave singer Holly Vincent, who on her best song shouted over noisy guitars: “Love on a sidewalk, Touch me but don't talk … Unoriginal Sin, Unoriginal Sin.”

Wow, that last line. Wow. And the theology of using "could" instead of "would."

Great poem.

A reasonable god - yes, I'm with the mom. Such an unassuming voice sharing what is so terribly weighty.

I think Matthew Fox had it right when he spoke of Original Blessing instead of Original Sin. The correction got him into trouble, but surely his words were a blessing rather than a sin.

Yes, we all "fall into error" -- I fall into it like 20 times a day!-- but I wouldn't want it any other way. Who needs perfection when you can have gin martinis!

Timely pick this one as we ponder lent and pine for easter.

“Original Sin" could have come straight out of King Lear’s mouth: “I am a man / More sinn’d against than sinning.” The gall of God to slap us with sin before we had the chance to sin! Add my Raab rave to the others here. Forming a loose diptych with Raab’s poem is “Why I Think I’m a Writer,” a poem by his friend Stephen Dunn (1939-2021) about the Catholic confessional where he “never told the truth” about his sins.

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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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