Wednesday, November 11, 2009
a paragraph with general praise for David Lehman
I enjoy David Lehman's mosaics of place names, mad jazz and painterly effect; there is an fabulous improvisation in his lines that performs an activity I think is poetry's core province, which is testing language's ability to accommodate experience and offer up perception in a manner that merits a second, third or a hundredth look at the daily things that surround us.There is what sounds like genuine surprise and glee when his pieces are at their best set of finessed pitches ;the interruptions or clipped notions work as layers of many references Lehman decides to associate; it's a sloppy process, I suppose, but it's one I'm partial too, taking Frank O'Hara as my foil. There is not enough time in this life to bemoan and decry what cannot be undone. You're use of another writer's phrase merely passively agrees with him. Lehman's technique is more adventurous, more artful--he makes his borrowed references perform as he wants them to.