rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,


Evening coolness animates the air which had lain sluggish all afternoon. Now the day is like the memory of a fever which has passed, the world released from its confinement. I am impatient with the closeness of the house, and must be outdoors.

But first, this: I have only today found that Donald Justice died two months ago. Poets are not celebrities, and few of them receive prominent obituaries. In fact, the best of them never really vanish from the world, so maybe they don't need prominent obituaries.

Beyond the Hunting Woods

by Donald Justice

I speak of that great house
Beyond the hunting woods,
Turreted and towered
In nineteenth-century style,
Where fireflies by the hundreds
Leap in the long grass,
Odor of jessamine
And roses, canker-bit,
Recalling famous times
When dame and maiden sipped
Sassafras or wild
Elderberry wine,
While far in the hunting woods
Men after their red hounds
Pursued the mythic beast.

I ask it of a stranger,
In all that great house finding
Not any living thing,
Or of the wind and the weather,
What charm was in that wine
That they should vanish so,
Ladies in their stiff
Bone and clean of limb,
And over the hunting woods
What mist had maddened them
That gentlemen should lose
Not only the beast in view
But Belle and Ginger too,
Nor home from the hunting woods
Ever, ever come?

Another poem by Justice is posted here, in greatpoets.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.