Skip to main content

David Lehman

David Lehman is the author of numerous collections of poetry including New and Selected Poems (Scribner, 2013), When a Woman Loves a Man (Scribner, 2005), and The Daily Mirror (Scribner, 2000). His latest book is Sinatra’s Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World (HarperCollins, 2015). He is the series editor of Best American Poetry and edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry. He received the Deems Taylor Award from ASCAP for A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs (Schocken, 2009). He teaches in the New School graduate writing program. 


Poetry Poster #1: David Lehman

June 29, 2012 | Poetry

Every Friday, we'll be offering up a poem in mini-poster form that's appeared in an issue of VQR. We hope you'll share, display, and enjoy. Our very first poem, from the Spring 2012 issue, is by David Lehman: "Poem in the Manner of the 1960s."  [...]

Poem in the Manner of the 1960s

Spring 2012 | Poetry

Naked women are the best You meet them in cornfields and meadows They are naked and the moon is yellow and it is summer with a bounty of apricots and plums and then it is autumn and you meet them in the city You meet the naked women in cafes at parti [...]

Story of My Life

Spring 2012 | Poetry

There must be dozens of poems with the title “Story of My Life.”Maybe even hundreds. It’s a natural, a même—which is pronounced to rhyme with team, by the way, though I keep thinking it should be meme, as in the French word for “same.” I [...]

Second Thoughts

What a life: hospitals and airports, clocks in corridors, Mother asleep in the next room, and Dad waking up to  piss, Knocking over the glass of water and the vial of pills On the night table. It took him all these years To learn that America hated [...]

The Drowning

My mother told me the story, and I believed it: About the boy who went out too far, Beyond the voices of older sister and smarter brother, Exhausted father smoking a cigar and reading the paper, Distracted mother changing the baby's diaper: He left t [...]

The Problem of Evil

Remove any of the characters and the problem goes away. So, sooner than worship the inexplicable, the century Prefers to do away with god, except for an occasional bark: The dog on the back porch won't bite. Still, if madness Could heal, couldn't we [...]

Gift Means Poison In German

And poisson means fish in French. Therefore, on my first trip to Paris, reading a menu I recalled my cousin, now a fashionable designer, then a survivor of Dachau, twelve years old, a week after arrival in New York City when Truman was President. I t [...]


Apollinaire’s “Zone”

Spring 2013 | Poetry

Apollinaire experimented with audacious techniques for generating verse. On occasion he would sit in a café and weave overheard phrases into the composition. Read David Lehman's translation of "Zone," the central poem in Apollinaire's career.