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029  Gleaning from reading:


Lehman, David.  Foreword to The Best American Poetry 2007.  New York: Scribner, 2007, ix-xvi.
     "For . . . a poem to gain entry in this volume, it had to meet exceptionally high criteria. . . . [Heather McHugh], the editor of The Best American Poetry 2007, sets store, she told an interviewer, by wordplay, puns, rhymes, the hidden life of words . . . . [The editor] has spoken with cutting eloquence against glib and simplistic poems by well-meaning citizens: 'So much contemporary American poetry is deadly serious . . . [A] little unholiness comes as a big relief.' . . . I [David Lehman] believe, with Wordsworth, that the poet's first purpose is to always give pleasure, and I would argue, too, that a poem exhibiting the comic spirit can be every bit as serious as a poem devoid of laughter. . . . 'The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter,' Mark Twain remarked."

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