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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David Lehman Poems
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
The Difference Between Pepsi And Coke
Can't swim; uses credit cards and pills to combat intolerable feelings of inadequacy; Won't admit his dread of boredom, chief impulse behind numerous marital infidelities;
Light rain is falling in Central Park but not on Upper Fifth Avenue or Central Park West where sun and sky are yellow and blue Winds are gusting on Washington Square
The happiest moment in a woman's life Is when she hears the turn of her lover's key In the lock, and pretends to be asleep When he enters the room, trying to be
"He gave her class. She gave him sex." -- Katharine Hepburn on Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers He gave her money. She gave him head.
We have too much exhibitionism and not enough voyeurism in poetry we have plenty of bass and not enough treble, more amber
Christmas defeated Chanukah once again last night by a margin of three billion dollars or so, but every time I hear
for Jim Cummins In Iowa, Jim dreamed that Della Street was Anne Sexton's twin. Dave drew a comic strip called the "Adventures of Whitman,"
As I sit at my desk wishing I did not have to edit a book on poetry and painting a subject that fascinates me
The fear of perjuring herself turned into a tacit Admission of her guilt. Yet she had the skill And the luck to elude her implacable pursuers. God was everywhere like a faceless guard in a gallery.
His first infidelity was a mistake, but not as big As her false pregnancy. Later, the boy found out He was born three months earlier than the date
If Ezra Pound were alive today (and he is) he'd be teaching at a small college in the Pacific Northwest
A Little History
Some people find out they are Jews. They can't believe it. Thy had always hated Jews. As children they had roamed in gangs on winter nights in the old
Examples (August 27)
The last Campbell's tomato soup can of the twentieth century is going to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh That is an example of a sentence
Quotationsmore quotations »
''Obscurantism is the academic theorist's revenge on society for having consigned him or her to relative obscuritya 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).
Comments about David Lehman
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
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...