The Evening Sun: A Journal in Poetry

The Evening Sun: A Journal in Poetry

by David Lehman


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The eagerly awaited follow-up to his critically acclaimed collection The Daily Mirror, The Evening Sun gathers together 150 of David Lehman's favorite "daily poems" from 1999 and 2000 into a brilliant chronicle of a poet's heart and mind as the last century ends and a new one begins.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743225526
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 04/15/2002
Edition description: Original
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

David Lehman, the series editor of The Best American Poetry, is also the editor of the Oxford Book of American Poetry. His books of poetry include Poems in the Manner Of, New and Selected Poems, Yeshiva Boys, When a Woman Loves a Man, and The Daily Mirror. He lives in New York City and Ithaca, New York.

Read an Excerpt



Come on in and stay a while

I'll photograph you emerging from the revolving door

like Frank O'Hara dating the muse of modern art

Talking about the big Pollock show is better

than going to it on a dismal Saturday afternoon

when my luncheon partner is either the author or the subject

of The Education of Henry Adams at a hard-to-get-

a-table-at restaurant on Cornelia Street

just what is chaos theory anyway

I'm not sure but it helps explain "Autumn Rhythm"

the closest thing to chaos without crossing the border

I think you should write that book on Eakins and also the one

on nineteenth-century hats the higher the hat the sweller the toff

and together we will come up with Mondrian in the grid of Manhattan

Gerald Murphy's "Still Life with Wasp" and the best Caravaggio in the country

in Kansas City well it's been swell, see you in Cleveland April 23

The reason time goes faster as you grow older is that each day

is a tinier proportion of the totality of days in your life

(appeared in the online magazine Jacket)

Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman



They were wrong

for whom success

was sweetest. It's

failure that interests

me. It's why

I like movies

that look like

they were filmed

down under the

Manhattan Bridge overpass

a raw March

Sunday, warehouses empty,

black and white

and always 1953,

and the hero

believes in nothing

like the waiter

in Hemingway who

prays to nada

our nada who

art nada nada

be thy name

(appeared in the Boston Review)

Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman

MAY 26


In Rotterdam I'm

going to speak about

the state of poetry

on a panel with a Pole

and a Turk. It's worth

being alive to utter

that sentence. A

German from Fürth,

my father's hometown

and Henry Kissinger's,

will preside. His name

is Joachim Sartorius,

which sounds like a

pseudonym Kierkegaard

might use to condemn

the habits of his age

and ours when nothing

ever happens but the

publicity is immediate

and the town meeting

ends with the people

convinced they have

rebelled so now they

can go home quietly

having spent a most

pleasant evening

(appeared in Antioch Review)

Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman



They're calling old people seniors

short for senior citizens but it's as though

they're still in college and can look forward

to graduate school at Purgatory State

or the University of the Damned and

I can see this poem is intent on being Catholic

though it started out agnostic

Maybe that's because I was talking

to Ed Webster on the phone tonight

and he described himself as an agnostic

who got a job teaching at a Catholic school

in the South Bronx or maybe because I was reading

the classifieds in the Daily News today

and several greeted dead ones in heaven

in any case I like seniors maybe the rest of us

are juniors and sophomores and we still have

the junior prom and all that romantic angst

to go through before we reach the holy land

(appeared in The Paris Review)

Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman



What a night what a light what a moon

white with patches of blue snow & here I am

striding longlegged to the bar on East 4th Street

Never was a Martini more deserved

The hot water pipe in my apartment sprang a leak

soaking a couple dozen books, magazines, files

There is renewed evidence of mice

My left eye has begun to twitch

after two and a half hours on the Taconic

and then to play War & Chicken on New York streets

but I had Mingus and "Fables of Faubus"

to keep me awake while you slept

and now the city, which suspended its activity

in my absence, has come back to me

with exciting new crises a haystack of mail

and thee O silver moon

(appeared in Five Points)

Copyright © 2002 by David Lehman

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