Dec. 20, 2004: POEM WITH LINES IN ANY ORDER (Robert Pinsky)

Happy Monday, everyone.

You know, one might think that a poem written in that lines that could be
reorganized in any order might not make much sense. And one would be
right! Unless, of course, this poem, or this idea for a poem, makes sense
to anyone present, in which case please enlighten us. Thus, the second in
our three-part New Yorker "American Masters" series. Note that there are
two lines that involve italics here; due to the limitations of my mail
program, I’m using all caps instead. -ed.

POEM WITH LINES IN ANY ORDER

Sonny said, THEN HE SHOULDN’T HAVE GIVEN MOLLY THE TWO MORE BABIES.
Dave’s sister and her husband adopted the baby, and that was Babe.
You can’t live in the past.
Sure he was a tough guy but he was no hero.
Sonny and Toots went to live for a while with the Braegers.
It was a time when it seemed like everybody had a nickname.
Nobody can live in the future.
When Rose died having Babe, Dave came after the doctor with a gun.
Toots said, WHAT WOULD YOU EXPECT, HE WAS A YOUNG MAN AND THERE SHE WAS.
Sonny still a kid himself when Dave moved out on Molly.
The family gave him Rose’s cousin Molly to marry so she could raise the
children.
There’s no way to just live in the present.
In their eighties Toots and Sonny still arguing about their father.
Dave living above the bar with Della and half the family.

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