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New and Selected Poems Paperback – November 5, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The presiding editor of The Best American Poetry heavily seasons his own work with . . . poetry. His lines echo others from Blake, Donne, Frost, Keats, Eliot, Dickinson, the Great American Songbook, and many others, usually not in poems that cite them by name and never to flout his knowledge. He’s formally various, essaying the sonnet, the villanelle, the sestina, and many less demanding forms, though he tweaks each a bit. Perhaps his happiest bouts of allusiveness are in his journals in poetry, The Daily Mirror (2000) and The Evening Sun (2002), which in their scantily punctuated (quotation marks only), often short-lined entries as well as quotidian content and anarchic enjambment suggest that Lehman, like Don Marquis, has a cockroach collaborator. The couplets of “Mythologies,” from Operation Memory (1990), which rhyme when diction allows rather than regularly, are pretty delightful, too. Lehman’s no reactionary, though, but thoroughly modernist. His matter is personal, his language common, and his manner surrealist. But the fact that he’s so heavily steeped in poetry makes him a poetry-lover’s poet supreme. --Ray Olson

Review

“The urbanity of David Lehman is a breath of fresh air. Lehman’s poems can be insouciant, discursive—I associate them with New York School figures like Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara and early John Ashbery, but also with the lighter side of Auden. He’s not an earthy poet but a man about town who can see his life in the context of popular culture. . . . Lehman’s New and Selected Poems has the spark of life in it, a mind alive to all kinds of stimuli and a sense of pulse-quickening experience. This is a book I would pay money for.” (David Mason Hudson Review)

“Lehman is a combination of Mark Twain, Charlie Rose and John Le Carre with a little John Donne thrown in.” (Grace Gavalieri Washington Independent Review of Books)

“David Lehman is a true literary man…Poems such as “Mother Died Today” mark the development of his style from a more accessible, straightforward poetry with narrative and storytelling, to a more experiment, mashy style of contemporary poetry, often engaging in dialogue with other works of art.” (The Literary Man)

“There is a generousness of spirit that the poet and the anthologist have in common. As a poet, Mr. Lehman has always been conversational in style, given to seemingly casual aper?u that take on a larger resonance…His poems weave through history, philosophy, sports, love, jazz, New York life, family life, Judaism and poetry.” (Sarah Douglas New York Observer)

“[Lehman’s] lines echo others from Blake, Donne, Frost, Keats, Eliot, Dickinson, the Great American Songbook, and many others, usually not in poems that cite them by name and never to flout his knowledge…His matter is personal, his language common, and his manner surrealist.” (Ray Olson Booklist)

“[New and Selected Poems] places the poems themselves as center stage: they steer an entertaining, zigzag path between nonchalant Jewish-American autobiography and whimsical experiment. Lehman shows a genius for comic one-liners, for the humor at the root of pathos and the pathos inside tragedy.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Very few writers can actually shape how you see the world. David Lehman is such a writer.” (Robert Olen Butler)

“Inventive and often winningly sincere…Lehman is candid as well as ironic—sometimes, both at once. He generates a maniacal, irreverent, fast-thinking range of references to movies, poems, history.” (Robert Pinsky Washington Post Book World)

“Lehman uses many conveyances—including the prose poem, the sestina, and curt rhymes—to travel across the writing life of a poet whose instinctive romanticism is always bracing and tough-minded, brimming with a rare generosity.” (Ken Tucker Entertainment Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Original ed. edition (November 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147673187X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476731872
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,057,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Lawrence J. Epstein VINE VOICE on November 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Lehman's extraordinary voice--learned, comic, Jewish, ironic, aphoristic--conveys a uniquely New York set of memorable truths in these poems. These truths in that voice deserve a universal hearing. There are poems of love and loss, of memory's gifts and shadows. The poems are in reverse order, with the newest first and the oldest going back to Lehman's late teens. But the poems themselves mock this reverse chronology by revealing a remarkable consistency, a stability of poetic personality. The poet has a congenial relationship with the English language, always locating the precisely-needed word. His range of subjects, drawn from every cultural stratum, and the comforting gallop of his rhythms combine for a remarkable reading experience. I don't know which of these poems will wiggle their way through time to the far future, but at least some will. Line up and make your own choices.
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Longtime fans of David Lehman's work will enjoy this all-in-one compilation, from his daily poems from the last decade to some of the more formally aware poems from earlier collections. For those unaware of Lehman's own work, the selection here is a great introduction for readers curious to see the breadth of his work. A must purchase.
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Format: Paperback
What does [man] believe?
In his right to trade a season of greed
for an hour of love in an unlit corner

Confessional poetry as it was once written! David Lehman is a true friend of poetry. He'd probably be first to concede he's not up there with the greats, those who blazed the trail and have given sustenance ever since, but in him we can detect an intelligence at work, and a sensibility, and a devotion to those poets past, and for that we are grateful
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