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David Lehman

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Added by: Katie
This guy has some serious issues.
serious issues
Added by: AM
Yes, the truth will ouch.
Perfect Poem
Added by: Katey
This poem is perfect. It's tight, funny, honest, relevant and precisely crafted. So succinct...so wonderful.
He's No Poet
Added by: Gillian Taylor
Sorry, ouch-potato AM (how BRAVE to not say your name). Neither is Katie wrong, nor does AM perceive truth. It is however, a brave fool who would braznely reveal their lack of understanding about himself and his 'work' - 'oeuvre' but people needs delusions right? Especially when dealing with masculine inadequacies, or, the failure to comprehend who could actually love them, if they loved themselves in the first place, and not requite homefires, with superficial import. May be he was going home to Mom? Freud thought so. The first thing about poetry is, know you are a poet first, or, forever hold your lame porn. It is an indictment to this website AND to American letters, that you suffer this drivel. Any psychiatrist could spot the anti-poetry that is The Psyche, also. Why? At no point is the subject of the poem subjectified, as the usury of the above. To transpose the male gaze and masculine posturing there, from a voyeurism that implies the author is aware of trained sexual slavery, via mirrors and spies, so 'gracious in defeat'. The purpose of the woman, only, note, animated in his mind as a servant to eros, oh, how transcendant - and then, the thing we might all do with, a little sleep, no, the victim who is 'unshod' referring to what/ her beastial quality or her cloven hoves??? I mean duh! and how can ankles be unshod - its feet and the desperate linkage to animalistic symbolic archaism is truly a sad day for America, but like the evil incuba-incubus of the true psychopathic unlife vampires of real life - this male will be unable to savour truth - i.e. that ugly men don't get beautiful women to love them, because they are mentally subnormal. The line, 'You won't see me', surely should send this man straight to the psychotherapists' couch, and if any of you there have any decency, please tell him that you need to actually have feelings for your subject matter that are beyond the polymorphous perverted, (unless you can actually illuminate it, pun intended), and about what is, including himself in all his defects. For all the work the Americans have done for literature, this is a repulsive calumney on your record because the man is interested in being repulsed. The only thing these women would have got was that contact with this 'creature' from the not on this planet brigade, is that you don't get what you don't get. PS David, a lover to a woman is NOT like a handbag. What you actually despise IS the love of women. No offence taken I'm sure.
Added by: Paul S.
The truth of this poem is unassailable.
Virgin (sic) on the offensive
Added by: AM
Gillian, the use of AM was not motivated by a desire for anonymity, but out of laziness. I did include my e-mail address, so I donít know what the problem is. Nor do I know what you are on about. Are you actually referring to the Lehman poem?
My original comment was merely a flippant, throwaway response to Katieís terse dismissal. The poem may not be the greatest in the language, but to dismiss it as the product of a sick mind is silly. I may or may not agree with the poetís viewpoint, but that should never be the criteria by which I should judge it. This assumes that we can legimately speak of the poetís viewpoint in the first place. Are you assuming that Lehman is somehow offering his words as established fact, completely without any sense of irony or awareness of the sadness of the situation he creates?
Having once again trudged wearily through the confused, fucked-up feminist psychobabble above, I realise that it simply doesnít make sense.
Iím off to oppress my wife now.
Added by: Kate Dean
Clever poem. For or against? Or is it just reality that must be accepted? The poem's title is the brilliant stroke.
Added by: casey
thank you kate dean for pointing out the point, which is that the poem is called "sexism" and not "the way things are" or "my ideal universe by david lehman". and as such, it's a perfectly good poem about sexism.
Sexism againt which gender?
Added by: Mary
My initial reaction after reading the first stanza was that it seemed sexist towards women. But after reading the second, I felt it was sexist towards men.

THE POINT OF THIS POEM is that it encompasses generalizations that both genders make about each other in our culture and how foolish these generalizations are.
Another Option
Added by: Jade
I don't think it has a preference for either gender. Don't dismiss it just because it appears to be exactly what the title promises... I think the poet is a little more clever than that. In two stanzas, I thought he brilliantly showed a spectrum of truth compared to stereotypes, and maybe even the often unnoticed depth of those who fit into some stereotypes...
Look at the woman. She "pretends" to be asleep, she hears him drunkenly bump into things and smells the liquor on his breath. She knows what's going on, but does she necessarily seem desperate in her place? Perhaps she is getting exactly what she wants out of the situation, and the weakness and submissiveness that seems to be her on the first read is just a play on the idea of a woman being the anchored one who waits. Are most women like this? Is anything really said to suggest you should pity this woman, or that she's getting the raw end of the deal, even though it's not what you might like to happen to you?
And the man? Who stumbles out of bed, marks his territory, ponders the stars for a moment and moves on? I don't think he's necessarily the man from the first stanza, but we assume that any man who fits the second stanza must also fit the first stanza...
I think it's a playful, if somewhat dark, way of pointing out not what society expects from men and women, but what is considered normal. Our society says men should not cheat on their wives and stumble drunkenly into their beds, and women should not put up with it if they do...
But when it happens, we all look at the other gender and bark, "Typical."
It's not fair to either.

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