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« "Do I Have Opinions?" [by Molly Arden] | Main | "The Laughing Heart" [by Charles Bukowski] »

June 04, 2023


Wow. This blew my mind. I’m
So sad the boy yawned tho

the play on 'don't get above your raisin'' resonates with my seventh-grade-drop-out father's admonishments i rebelled against doubling the impact and insight of this beautiful lyric narrative

Terrific poem about fatherhood and aspirations, with the violence of Marvin's dad thrown in for good measure. Such a wonderful weaving of pop culture and the personal.

Amazing amalgam of the past and present. Thank you.

The line from Marvin Gaye's dad is an incredibly intense piece of found poetry--more like a Raymond Chandler novel, really.
The line breaks here are really interesting. I tried reading it really emphasizing them, and I think I get it. I like when form becomes content.

Ditto, Bernard Welt. I like when form becomes content. It's the best.
This one has an internal combustion, jump starting the poem throughout.
But it's all consideration, no destruction.
Thanks for posting another interesting poem, Terence.

Diane: Thanks for the comment.

Diane and Bernard said all that I would say. A poem worth returning to several times!

The lyrics in "Don't Get Above Your Raisin'," a 1951 song written and recorded by Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt, are not advising the listener to curtail ambition but rather to stay loyal to one's childhood community, much as Walter Lee's mother is telling her son not to betray his neighborhood.

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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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