By DAVID LEHMAN
The month, shortest of the year, least popular, ends,
and on the radio there’s “Midnight Sun,” a concept
worthy of a Ramos Gin Fizz, if you have the ingredients,
it being understood that the weight of the world is too
hefty for any one consciousness to bear, let alone to
comprehend. More songs come: Doris Day, Bea Wain,
Bob Eberle sings “Tangerine” like a ballad and then
Helen O’Connell picks up the satire and the pace.
O, music of the 1940s! What sense did you make
to my father-in-law in the ninety-fourth division,
three hundred and first battalion, company G,
from Normandy to Bastogne, “Roosevelt’s Butchers”?
A foot soldier in Patton’s army, he punched a bigoted sergeant,
served in Germany, liberated a camp, was never the same.
David Lehman’s most recent books are The Morning Line (poems) and The Mysterious Romance of Murder (prose). He edited The Oxford Book of American Poetry and is series editor of The Best American Poetry, which he founded in 1988.