David Lehman

(June 11, 1948 / New York City)

David Lehman Quotes

  • ''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).
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  • ''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 they will be used.''
    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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The Matador of Metaphor

The grapefruit in the Florida orchard
has ripened into a globe in Hartford
for him to look at, not to eat.
If he had a tin can he would beat
it as a drummer in a band beats
his drum and steadily with a swish
and sometimes a gong. It's his wish
to escape from gray walls and sky
into a Denmark of the inner eye

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