A major collection of poems from one of our most accomplished poets, the prominent man of letters behind The Best American Poetry series.
Drawing from a wealth of material produced over the course of more than forty years, David Lehman’s New and Selected Poems displays the remarkable range of his poetic genius. A gathering of stunning new poems, prose poems, and translations from modern French masters ushers in the book. Selections from each of Lehman’s seven full-length books of poetry follow and are capped off by a coda of important early and previously uncollected works. Lehman writes poems that captivate as they stimulate thought, poems that capture the romance, irony, and pathos of love, and poems that are lyrical and lovely in unexpected, sometimes even comic ways. This is David Lehman at his best.
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.
“The urbanity of David Lehman is a breath of fresh air. Lehman’s poems can be insouciant, discursive—I associate them with New York School figures like Kenneth Koch, Frank O’Hara and early John Ashbery, but also with the lighter side of Auden. He’s not an earthy poet but a man about town who can see his life in the context of popular culture. . . . Lehman’s New and Selected Poems has the spark of life in it, a mind alive to all kinds of stimuli and a sense of pulse-quickening experience. This is a book I would pay money for.”
– David Mason, Hudson Review
“Lehman is a combination of Mark Twain, Charlie Rose and John Le Carre with a little John Donne thrown in.”
– Grace Gavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books
“David Lehman is a true literary man…Poems such as “Mother Died Today” mark the development of his style from a more accessible, straightforward poetry with narrative and storytelling, to a more experiment, mashy style of contemporary poetry, often engaging in dialogue with other works of art.”
– The Literary Man
“There is a generousness of spirit that the poet and the anthologist have in common. As a poet, Mr. Lehman has always been conversational in style, given to seemingly casual aper?u that take on a larger resonance…His poems weave through history, philosophy, sports, love, jazz, New York life, family life, Judaism and poetry.”
– Sarah Douglas, New York Observer
“[Lehman’s] lines echo others from Blake, Donne, Frost, Keats, Eliot, Dickinson, the Great American Songbook, and many others, usually not in poems that cite them by name and never to flout his knowledge…His matter is personal, his language common, and his manner surrealist.”
– Ray Olson, Booklist
“[New and Selected Poems] places the poems themselves as center stage: they steer an entertaining, zigzag path between nonchalant Jewish-American autobiography and whimsical experiment. Lehman shows a genius for comic one-liners, for the humor at the root of pathos and the pathos inside tragedy.”
– Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Very few writers can actually shape how you see the world. David Lehman is such a writer.”
– Robert Olen Butler
“Inventive and often winningly sincere…Lehman is candid as well as ironic—sometimes, both at once. He generates a maniacal, irreverent, fast-thinking range of references to movies, poems, history.”
– Robert Pinsky, Washington Post Book World
“Lehman uses many conveyances—including the prose poem, the sestina, and curt rhymes—to travel across the writing life of a poet whose instinctive romanticism is always bracing and tough-minded, brimming with a rare generosity.”