Collected Poems by Donald Justice

By Donald Justice

This celebratory quantity offers us the full profession of Donald Justice among covers, together with a wealthy handful of poems written given that New and chosen Poems was once released in 1995. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Justice has been hailed via his modern Anthony Hecht as “the ultimate inheritor of Wallace Stevens.” In poems that embody the previous, its terrors and reconciliations, Justice has develop into our poet of residing reminiscence. The vintage American depression in his titles calls forth the tenor of our collective passages: “Bus Stop,” “Men at Forty,” “Dance classes of the Thirties,” “The Small White church buildings of the Small White Towns.” This grasp of classical shape has present in the yankee scene, and within the American tongue, all these virtues of our literature and panorama sought by way of Emerson and Henry James. For part a century he has endeavored, with painterly vividness and plainspoken beauty, to make these neighborhood perspectives a part of the literary history from which he has so usually taken solace, and inspiration.

School Letting Out
(Fourth or 5th Grade)

The afternoons of going domestic from school
Past the younger fruit bushes and the wintry weather flowers.
The schoolyard cries fading at the back of you then,
And small boys operating to trap up, as though
It have been an honor one way or the other to be near—
All is forgiven now, even the dogs,
Who, straining at their tethers, used to bark,
Not from anger yet a few mystery joy.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Sample text

Those silly brown lumps, That are probably meant for hills and not other houses, After ages of being themselves, though naturally slow, Are learning to be exclusive without offending. The arches and entrances (down to the right out of sight) Have mastered the lesson of remaining closed. And even the skies keep a certain understandable distance, For these are the houses of the very rich. 2 One sees their children playing with leopards, tamed At great cost, or perhaps it is only other children, For none of these objects is anything more than a spot, And perhaps there are not any children but only leopards Playing with leopards, and perhaps there are only the spots.

Prayer wheels, flowers! Let the flowers Fade, the prayer wheels run down. What have these to do With us who have stood atop the snow Atop the mountain, Flags seen from the valley? qxd 6/17/04 10:27 AM Page 19 If one could forget the mountain, How, never once looking down, Stiff, blinded with snow, One knew what to do. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37r 38l Meanwhile it is not easy here in Katmandu, Especially when to the valley That wind which means snow Elsewhere, but here means flowers, Comes down, As soon it must, from the mountain.

Alcestis: My latest sighs have somewhat scorched the veil. Ah, what can ail me, that I weep nor smile? Why hath he brought me from the dolorous shades?

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