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Collected Poems by Donald Justice

Collected Poems (2004)

by Donald Justice

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Not great to say the very least. ( )
  Djupstrom | Apr 29, 2010 |


Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Donald Justice died on August 12, six days before this new book, Collected Poems, was published. He left behind a legacy of influence, both as one of the most renowned teachers of poets in recent memory and as a poet of great gifts in his own right. Dana Gioia, current head of the National Endowment for the Arts, has described Justice as a “poet’s poet,” and reading his collected works is a reminder why: Justice’s incredible range and deliberate use of language. His body of work, collected here in its entirety, is a romp through a variety of forms and styles, but always with a very careful eye to using the precise word to meet the needs of the poem. Although he’s not among the most famous of American poets, this collection leaves no doubt he was one of the best. ( )
  KelMunger | Nov 27, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 037571054X, Paperback)

This celebratory volume gives us the entire career of Donald Justice between two covers, including a rich handful of poems written since New and Selected Poems was published in 1995. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Justice has been hailed by his contemporary Anthony Hecht as “the supreme heir of Wallace Stevens.” In poems that embrace the past, its terrors and reconciliations, Justice has become our poet of living memory. The classic American melancholy in his titles calls forth the tenor of our collective passages: “Bus Stop,” “Men at Forty,” “Dance Lessons of the Thirties,” “The Small White Churches of the Small White Towns.” This master of classical form has found in the American scene, and in the American tongue, all those virtues of our literature and landscape sought by Emerson and Henry James. For half a century he has endeavored, with painterly vividness and plainspoken elegance, to make those local views part of the literary heritage from which he has so often taken solace, and inspiration.

School Letting Out
(Fourth or Fifth Grade)

The afternoons of going home from school
Past the young fruit trees and the winter flowers.
The schoolyard cries fading behind you then,
And small boys running to catch up, as though
It were an honor somehow to be near—
All is forgiven now, even the dogs,
Who, straining at their tethers, used to bark,
Not from anger but some secret joy.

From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:08 -0400)

Presents a collection of the selected poems of twentieth-century American poet Donald Justice depicting memories of childhood and youth, eulogies for the dead, and reflections of life's disappointments.

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