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« The Purple Plums of Pierre Bonnard | Main | "Drink of the Gods" [by David Lehman, 2/4/24] »

February 04, 2024


This brought tears to my eyes.The best possible criticism.

Radiance! "Simply happy." Such a beautiful expression of real love. Thanks for sharing!

That is some *very* good writing. I often feel that Americans have gotten used to living in the future tense -- "Be here now" was good advice very few people took; instead only what they think might happen to them seems to matter, as they ignore present crises to live in fear of what is to come -- but this throws a relatively benign future back at them. From the perspective of the future that's already been, you can go back to the past and foresee the more-or-less happy ending. It's nice that writing can do that for us.

I read as happiness through acceptance more than anything else. I also love the Planet Fitness Kiss image. Solidity within the flow -- fleeting or not.


oh, what a beautiful and radiant poem, what a beautiful and radiant soul...

Such a visual poem! I want to watch it (read it) again and again.

This beautiful poem touched my heart. Love the artwork.

Oh my. So much beauty so little time yet —yesssss!

These are my one-word responses to Emanuel Xavier’s deeply stirring poem: “resourceful,” “alive,” “droll,” “illuminating,” “assertive,” “numinous,” “caring,” “essential.” I suppose I could have used other words occurring to me afterward, such as “defiant,” “close,” and “edifying.” But I’ll stick with my first eight. They strike me as honest in my keeping up with the compelling candor, artfulness, and narrative force of Xavier’s verse. And, yes, the initial letter of my quoted first eight words atop here spells out “radiance,” the word itself piloting me. Is this irksome guile or a self-applied Rorschach test on my part? I didn’t need inkblots to inspire me. All it took was Xavier’s brilliant, echoic yoking of the title, “Radiance,” with the last word of the first sentence, “radiation.” From there on, I was hopelessly hooked, accessing my head through my heart. Isn’t that also the definition of how a truly luminous poem affects us? Though you wouldn’t guess it here, “Radiance” moved me beyond words. I cannot heap enough praise on it and its author. (Sidebar to Terence: you are a sorcerer in your sourcing of “pick of the week” poems.)

Earle:  Thanks for the radiant comment.

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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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