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Valentine Place



David Lehman (View Bio)
Hardcover: Scribner, 1996; Paperback: Scribner, 1996.

Valentine Place

"The wonderful title sequence alone would make David Lehman's new book — his finest, in my view, to date — a memorable one. This increasingly impressive poet keeps reminding us that putting aside childish things can be done only wisely and well by keeping in touch with them, and that American life is best understood and celebrated by those who are, with Whitman, both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it." — John Hollander

"The rich perceptions and broad associations of David Lehman's individual lines are dissolved, dashed, X-ed away until a mass of obliterations becomes a brilliant scramble. With every pretense of author scratched through and every defense of the reader anticipated and undercut, what remains is a profound, scary, and beautiful knowledge of a severe world truly our own." — A. R. Ammons

"Lehman's (series editor of Best American Poetry) poems explore the idiosyncrasies of love and marriage, separation and divorce. Many of the poems possess a witty outlook and others push to the extreme of sarcasm; however, Lehman allows us to contribute our own definition of love." — Library Journal

"Infidelity, failed marriage, attempted romance, elusive trysts, American Jewish identity and boyhood's lost innocence absorb the attention of the middle-aged, middle-class New York City man whose lightly ironic voice speaks in Lehman's third poetry collection." — Publishers Weekly

"David Lehman's moving new poems chronicle urban anxiety and sadness; mysteries of love, family and passing time; and the sheer nuttiness of it all. VALENTINE PLACE is a complex delight." — John Ashbery

"David Lehman's intelligence and wit, or his witty intelligence, his verbal high jinks, his formal elegance and remarkable energy make VALENTINE PLACE a very entertaining, troubling, and engaging book." — Alan Shapiro

"Lehman’s poetics are the poetics of the jailbreak. Artful collage and droll pastiche; direct statement and arresting image; sudden expostulations; inventive, near-epic similes; and an associative exuberance – all of these elements drive a poetry which bursts through anxiety and loss into gusto. . .This poet’s exquisite self-consciousness in matters of diction allows him to be deadly serious and winkingly detached in the same passage. . . David Lehman's work is the real thing." — Robert Schultz, The Hudson Review

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