David Lehman

(June 11, 1948 / New York City)

David Lehman
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David Lehman grew up the son of European Holocaust refugees in Manhattan's northernmost neighborhood of Inwood. He attended Stuyvesant High School and Columbia University, and Cambridge University in England on a Kellett Fellowship. He later received a Ph.D. in English from Columbia, where he was Lionel Trilling's research assistant. Lehman's poem "The Presidential Years" appeared in The Paris Review No. 43 (Summer, 1968) while he was a Columbia undergraduate. His books of poetry include Yeshiva Boys (November 2009), When a Woman Loves a Man (2005), The Evening Sun (2002), The Daily Mirror (2000), and Valentine Place (1996), all published by Scribner. Princeton University Press ... more »

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  • ''Obscurantism is the academic theorist's revenge on society for having consigned him or her to relative obscurity—a way of proclaiming one's superiority in the face of one's diminished influence.''
    David Lehman (b. 1948), U.S. poet, editor, critic. "Archie Debunking," ch. 3, Signs of the Times (1991).
  • ''There is an air of last things, a brooding sense of impending annihilation, about so much deconstructive activity, in so many of its guises; it is not merely postmodernist but preapocalyptic.''
    David Lehman (b. 1948), U.S. poet, editor, critic. "The End of the Word," ch. 1, Signs of the Times (1991).
  • Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how...
    David Lehman (b. 1948), U.S. poet, editor, critic. "The End of the Word," ch. 1, Signs of the Times (1991).
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Best Poem of David Lehman

When A Woman Loves A Man

When she says Margarita she means Daiquiri.
When she says quixotic she means mercurial.
And when she says, "I'll never speak to you again,"
she means, "Put your arms around me from behind
as I stand disconsolate at the window."

He's supposed to know that.

When a man loves a woman he is in New York and she is in Virginia
or he is in Boston, writing, and she is in New York, reading,
or she is wearing a sweater and sunglasses in Balboa Park and he
is raking leaves in Ithaca
or he is driving to East Hampton and she is standing disconsolate
at the window...

Read the full of When A Woman Loves A Man

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