Donald Justice
“There Is A Gold Light In Certain Old Paintings” by Donald Justice

“There Is A Gold Light In Certain Old Paintings” by Donald Justice

1There is a gold light in certain old paintingsThat represents a diffusion of sunlight.It is like happiness, when we are happy.It comes from everywhere and from nowhere at once, ...

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Women In Love by Donald Justice

Women In Love by Donald Justice

It always comes, and when it comes they know.To will it is enough to bring them there.The knack is this, to fasten and not let go. Their limbs are charmed; they cannot stay or ...

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A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

Thirty today, I sawThe trees flare briefly likeThe candles on a cake,As the sun went down the sky,A momentary flash,Yet there was time to wish

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A Dancer’s Life by Donald Justice

A Dancer’s Life by Donald Justice

The lights in the theater fail. The long racksOf costumes abandoned by the other dancersTrouble Celeste. The conductor asksIf she is sad because autumn is coming on,But when ...

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Nostalgia And Complaint Of The Grandparents by Donald Justice

Nostalgia And Complaint Of The Grandparents by Donald Justice

Les morts C’est sous terre; Ça n’en sort Guère. LAFORGUE Our diaries squatted, toad-like, On dark closet ledges. Forget-me-not and thistle Decalcomaned the pages. But ...

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A Dancer’s Life by Donald Justice

A Dancer’s Life by Donald Justice

The lights in the theater fail. The long racks Of costumes abandoned by the other dancers Trouble Celeste. The conductor asks If she is sad because autumn is coming on, But ...

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“There Is A Gold Light In Certain Old Paintings”  by Donald Justice

“There Is A Gold Light In Certain Old Paintings” by Donald Justice

1 There is a gold light in certain old paintings That represents a diffusion of sunlight. It is like happiness, when we are happy. It comes from everywhere and from nowhere ...

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Love’s Stratagems by Donald Justice

Love’s Stratagems by Donald Justice

All these maneuverings to avoidThe touching of hands,These shifts to keep the eyes employedOn objects more or less neutral(As honor, for time being, commands) Will hardly prevent ...

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On The Death Of Friends In Childhood by Donald Justice

On The Death Of Friends In Childhood by Donald Justice

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heavenNor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,forming a ring, perhaps, or joining ...

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American Sketches by Donald Justice

American Sketches by Donald Justice

CROSSING KANSAS BY TRAIN The telephone poles Have been holding their Arms out A long time now To birds That will not Settle there But pass with Strange cawings Westward to Where ...

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Sestina: Here In Katmandu by Donald Justice

Sestina: Here In Katmandu by Donald Justice

We have climbed the mountain. There's nothing more to do. It is terrible to come down To the valley Where, amidst many flowers, One thinks of snow, As formerly, amidst snow, ...

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Men At Thirty by Donald Justice

Men At Thirty by Donald Justice

Thirty today, I sawThe trees flare briefly likeThe candles upon a cake As the sun went down the sky,A momentary flashYet there was time to wishBefore the break light could dieIf I ...

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A Map Of Love by Donald Justice

A Map Of Love by Donald Justice

Your face more than others' facesMaps the half-remembered placesI have come to I while I slept—Continents a dream had keptSecret from all waking folkTill to your face I awoke,And ...

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Absences by Donald Justice

Absences by Donald Justice

It's snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote,Like the memory of scales descending the white keysOf a childhood piano- ...

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Hell by Donald Justice

Hell by Donald Justice

R. B. VAUGHN speaks: “After so many years of pursuing the ideal I came home. But I had caught sight of it. You see it sometimes in the blue-silver wake Of island schooners, bound ...

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Poem by Donald Justice

Poem by Donald Justice

This poem is not addressed to you. You may come into it briefly, But no one will find you here, no one. You will have changed before the poem will. Even while you sit there, ...

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Bus Stop by Donald Justice

Bus Stop by Donald Justice

Lights are burning In quiet rooms Where lives go on Resembling ours. The quiet lives That follow us— These lives we lead But do not own— Stand in the rain So quietly When we are ...

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Men At Forty by Donald Justice

Men At Forty by Donald Justice

Men at fortyLearn to close softlyThe doors to rooms they will not beComing back to

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Pantoum Of The Great Depression by Donald Justice

Pantoum Of The Great Depression by Donald Justice

Our lives avoided tragedySimply by going on and on,Without end and with little apparent meaning.Oh, there were storms and small catastrophes.Simply by going on and onWe managed. ...

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The Evening Of The Mind by Donald Justice

The Evening Of The Mind by Donald Justice

Now comes the evening of the mind.Here are the fireflies twitching in the blood;Here is the shadow moving down the pageWhere you sit reading by the garden wall.Now the dwarf peach ...

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Sadness by Donald Justice

Sadness by Donald Justice

1Dear ghosts, dear presences, O my dear parents,Why were you so sad on porches, whispering?What great melancholies were loosed among our swings!As before a storm one hears the ...

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The Assassination by Donald Justice

The Assassination by Donald Justice

It begins again, the nocturnal pulse.It courses through the cables laid for it.It mounts to the chandeliers and beats there, hotly.We are too close. Too late, we would move ...

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Counting The Mad by Donald Justice

Counting The Mad by Donald Justice

This one was put in a jacket, This one was sent home, This one was given bread and meat But would eat none, And this one cried No No No No All day long. This one looked at the ...

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Variations On A Text By Vallejo by Donald Justice

Variations On A Text By Vallejo by Donald Justice

Me morire en Paris con aguacero ... I will die in Miami in the sun, On a day when the sun is very bright, A day like the days I remember, a day like other days, A day that nobody ...

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Extraits by Donald Justice

Extraits by Donald Justice

The Man Closing Up,' from Night Light' (1967), would make his bed,If he could sleep on it.He would make his bed with white sheetsAnd disappear into the white,Like a man diving,If ...

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Nostalgia Of The Lakefronts by Donald Justice

Nostalgia Of The Lakefronts by Donald Justice

Cities burn behind us; the lake glitters. A tall loudspeaker is announcing prizes; Another, by the lake, the times of cruises. Childhood, once vast with terrors and surprises, Is ...

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On A Painting By Patient B Of The Independence State Hospital For The Insane by Donald Justice

On A Painting By Patient B Of The Independence State Hospital For The Insane by Donald Justice

1 These seven houses have learned to face one another, But not at the expected angles. Those silly brown lumps, That are probably meant for hills and not other houses, After ages ...

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Banjo Dog Variations by Donald Justice

Banjo Dog Variations by Donald Justice

Tramps on the road: floating clouds. OLD CHINESE POEM1 Agriculture and Industry Embraced in public on a wall— Heroes in shirt-sleeves! Next to them The average man felt small. 2 I ...

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Henry James At The Pacific by Donald Justice

Henry James At The Pacific by Donald Justice

-- Coronado Beach, California, March, 1905In a hotel room by the sea, the MasterSits brooding on the continent he has crossed.Not that he foresees immediate disaster,Only a sort ...

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The Tourist From Syracuse by Donald Justice

The Tourist From Syracuse by Donald Justice

One of those men who can be a car salesman or a tourist from Syracuse or a hired assassin.-- John D. MacDonaldYou would not recognize me.Mine is the face which blooms inThe dank ...

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In Memory Of The Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn by Donald Justice

In Memory Of The Unknown Poet, Robert Boardman Vaughn by Donald Justice

But the essential advantage for a poet is not, to have a beautiful world with which to deal: it is to be able to see beneath both beauty and ugliness; to see the boredom, and the ...

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To A Ten-Months’ Child by Donald Justice

To A Ten-Months’ Child by Donald Justice

Late arrival, noOne would think of blaming youFor hesitating so.Who, setting his hand to knockAt a door so strange as this one,Might not draw back?

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Anonymous Drawing by Donald Justice

Anonymous Drawing by Donald Justice

A delicate young Negro standsWith the reins of a horse clutched loosely in his hands;So delicate, indeed, that we wonder if he can hold the spirited creaturebeside himUntil the ...

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In Bertram’s Garden by Donald Justice

In Bertram’s Garden by Donald Justice

Jane looks down at her organdy skirtAs if it somehow were the thing disgraced,For being there, on the floor, in the dirt,And she catches it up about her waist,Smooths it out along ...

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A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

A Birthday Candle by Donald Justice

Thirty today, I sawThe trees flare briefly likeThe candles on a cake,As the sun went down the sky,A momentary flash,Yet there was time to wish

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Ode To A Dressmaker’s Dummy by Donald Justice

Ode To A Dressmaker’s Dummy by Donald Justice

Papier-mache body; blue-and-black cotton jersey cover. Metal stand. Instructions included. -- Sears, Roebuck CatalogueO my coy darling, stillYou wear for me the scentOf those long ...

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October by Donald Justice

October by Donald Justice

Summer, goodbye.The days grow shorter.Cranes walk the fairway nowIn careless order.They step so graduallyToward the distant greenThey might be brushstrokesAnimating a screen.Mist ...

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Villanelle At Sundown by Donald Justice

Villanelle At Sundown by Donald Justice

Turn your head. Look. The light is turning yellow. The river seems enriched thereby, not to say deepened. Why this is, I'll never be able to tell you. Or are Americans half in ...

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Women In Love by Donald Justice

Women In Love by Donald Justice

It always comes, and when it comes they know.To will it is enough to bring them there.The knack is this, to fasten and not let go. Their limbs are charmed; they cannot stay or ...

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