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March 10, 2008


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I'm not sure I agree with you here, but your description of Ithaca and the bike trails and the sound the icy trees make is perfect.

You took me back to my own time in Ithaca.


I'm not sure the discussion should remain on what is "natural" in modern poetry but more so the "MFA'ing" of today's poetry.

The way an MFA class "disassembles" and "reassembles" poems to try to make them fit their idea of "art" is usually overkill. If you go to a bookstore and pick up a poetry book written by some U.S. MFA usually you can see that is so reconstituted that it really resembles garbage; pretty sounding and pretty smelling but still garbage.

Perhaps that's why we turn to the classics? To avoid the "over thinking" and "over writing" that has gone into such poetry?


P.S. Not all poetry written by well-intentioned MFA's is bad, but if you are honest with yourself, you know a lot of it is! Sadly our publishing industry pushes this stuff although for the most part they find poetry troubling -- read not enough sales & $ for them!

I agree that interpreting poetry is miserable, at best-we each hear it with different ears,-it conjures up our own desires, and riles up anger-with those who read, when to me it's intent,is to bring you to your own translation, your own def. of heaven or hell.
Those who freely or at all choose to use the words it's journey, seemed to be writing simply of the poetic way their mothers'raised them.Ahh what a delicate tribute,to those who bore them,and suffered them,and forgot to buy them the Bible,as a true reference for poetry, without the tautology,of those over used words in todays written tongue. Better brains are being autopsied as we speak.

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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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