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« A Brief Digression on Critics and Cops [by David Lehman] | Main | O Today We'll Merry, Merrry Be »

December 31, 2023


Yup great poem. Of course the first thing adamdid was pin names on things

What a beautiful/colorful ekphrastic poem. I love its brevity and the way it touches upon the language that is so vital to our craft. And I also love the way the poet incorporated that personal tidbit at the end. Congrats, Laura, and thank you, Terence for choosing such inspiring poems.

This is stunning, Lara! I love how you’ve packed so much intensity and lyricism and thinking into so few lines. Beautiful work! Thank you! —Julien (Po 15)

Thanks for the comment, Cindy.

"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."
- Rudyard Kipling

Great poem. And Thank you, Terence for continuing to expose me to so many inspiring poems and the poets who created them!

another satisfying poem and post, thank you lara, terence, and mark

Love it, esp. the last line! Beautiful!

Thanks for that comment, Doug. And Happy New Year!

Thanks, mo chara. Rothko sends his regards.

Such an ingenious poem, with its three great shifts--I'm envious! The intelligence and wit and comprehension are so impressive here. It's so strong a poem that it moves me to sit down and try write something like it. Thank you Lara for your highest art and Terence for finding it and letting the rest of us see.

Don: thanks for that comment.

OH YES! and the art, Terence, makes my week!

Thanks, Grace, and Happy New Year!

I'm the opposite way. I have words for things I don't know. It's another kind of silence.

Thanks so much to everyone for reading, and for your astute and generous insights!

Hoping Rothko posters & Egger poems are on the walls of that Spanish tapas bar! Such a fine poem.

Wonderful poem.

Love this poem. The artwork is amazing

Beautiful poem and painting.

I’m enraptured by Lara Egger’s poem, an absorbingly inquisitive response to great visual art and its visceral effect. Though Mark Rothko’s painting is entitled “No. 12 (Red and Yellow),” Egger leads off her poem with a four-word command: “Look at this orange.” It’s a bit of perceptual gamesmanship. We all know that orange is made from a mix of red and yellow. So Egger’s boldness makes us smile, even though it leads conclusively to inconclusion: “I worry about what I’m missing, / simply because I don’t know the word for it.” Isn’t that also the challenge of verse, which is nothing but words hopefully selected and placed in inspired combination to mean more than mere denotation? “A New New Guide” (great title with that italicized second “New”) by Lara Egger adroitly distills the challenge of bringing words to what we see, feel, and even want to touch in visual art, especially the abstract expressionism of Rothko’s “No. 12 (Red and Yellow).” What it evokes is multi-sensory: the illusions of depth, light, heat, and even a kind of kinetic stillness transmuted through introspection and emotion. Rothko was a genius of colors, brushwork, and form (especially rectangular), all eliciting an intensity of feeling through what became known as “color field painting.” In a deft dozen lines, Lara Egger’s poetic art complements his visual art. I can’t think of a higher compliment.

Great comment, Earle, as usual. Thanks for it.

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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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