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« Denise Duhamel on Barbieland | Main | "O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend. . ." »

August 11, 2023



Dear David Lehman,

You insult and debase poetry by using it to gather an audience for sad pop kulchur idolatry. Please quit pretending to any stewardship of poetry; it has been a full generation since the immortal Harold Bloom read you the riot act, which should have led to your resignation, with self-respect and dignity intact.

"He was cagy about expressing himself—when Playboy asked for an interview, he farmed the whole thing out, questions and answers alike, to a freelance writer named Mike Shore, who did such a good job that it has been quoted ever since as the lowdown on Frank’s view of things." - my summary of information (or allegation) gleaned from James Kaplan's Sinatra: The Chairman.

Mike Shore was a brilliant speech writer -- Sinatra's Peggy Noonan.

Fear Rave Dead. You intuit and debate for op art iconomics. The immoral Harold of Byron made you re-sign the contract, with self-respect and dignity intact.

Oh well it was the Ring-a-Ding-Ding days of JFK and the New Frontier and Frank hardly got any more radical. Still it's intriguing to contemplate what the early 60s Sinatra would have made of Trump!

I agree with Alan.

JFK's inauugral address was written by Theodore Sorensen. But when we quote it, we quote JFK, no?

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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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