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David Lehman - October 12

My bag was missing at the airport
"Just one bag?" "Yes, but it meant a lot to me"
I had seen the bartender before, but where?
"You didn't tell me you had been to Oxford"
"Yes, I was at Magdalen College for two years"
"What did you do there?" "Drugs."
"Did you know that in Hindi the same word
(kal, pronounced 'kull') means both
yesterday and tomorrow?" "You don't say.
What'll you have?" "Bombay Martini straight up,
with olives, very dry and very cold." "I like
a man who knows what he wants" "Well, I'll
tell you. She was a handsome, self-assured woman,
a practicing physician, 48, bright, in great shape,
played tennis every Friday night,
didn't drink, smoke, or take drugs,
and was looking for a Romeo with brains.
So naturally I didn't phone her"

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Added: Feb 20 2003 | Viewed: 2682 times | Comments and analysis of October 12 by David Lehman Comments (1)

October 12 - Comments and Information

Poet: David Lehman
Poem: October 12

Comment 1 of 1, added on August 12th, 2005 at 2:22 PM.

This poem has such a sad tone to it. the speaker doesn't value himself or his accomplishments. This can be noted by observing that he did't tell the bartender he went college, which is the presitgious Oxford. When the bartender tries to ask him what he did there ( meaning major) the speaker only replies drugs. Which could be true, but the mood of the poem is self depricating so I think it the speaker is being sarcastic.
He also describes the lady he met. She is very accomplished and looking for " a Romeo with brains", the speaker automatically rules himself out of this b/c he is either not a Romeo or has no brains. If anything I think it is the former because he went to Oxford and must be smart.

I am having trouble though figuring out what the drink says about the speaker. Any thoughts????


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