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New And Selected Poems [Kindle Edition]

Donald Justice
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
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Book Description

"He is one of our finest poets, " Anthony Hecht has said of Donald Justice. Winner most recently of a 1996 Lannan Literary Award, Justice has been the recipient of almost every contemporary grant and prize for poetry, from the Lamont to the Bollingen and the Pulitzer. The present volume replaces his 1980 Selected Poems and contains, in addition, poems from the last 15 years.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In 1959, Justice's first collection won the Lamont Prize; 20 years later his Selected Poems won the Pulitzer. In 1987, The Sunset Maker (poems and other works) appeared and A Donald Justice Reader, another selection of mostly poems, followed in 1991. This collection features works culled from six previous titles, plus a dozen uncollected poems, among them a pantoum and sonnet (among the 15 poems labeled new are three from Reader, with only minor changes here). Meter and rhyme are featured throughout. If not using?often irregularly?a classic form, Justice improvises one, melding language, meaning and rhythm in a seemingly seamless whole. A haunting four-part sequence, My South, epitomizes his work: two "sonnets" don't rhyme, two only irregularly; one has 13 lines; meters vary. Small revisions of 1991's South are telling, e.g., part 4, "On the Train," now includes the lines "unless/ We should pass down dim corridors again," which give a wider, mysterious meaning to the original, specific phrase "darkened aisle." Until we see a complete collected works, this is probably the definitive Justice.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The definitive Justice so far; from a poet who writes purely and precisely of simple things.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 217 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf (February 4, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,185,227 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Our Best Contemporary Poets September 11, 2004
Twenty or more years ago-- it may have been longer-- I heard a poet read his poetry at Emory University in Atlanta. One of his poems seared itself into my brain and heart and I have never forgotten it: "On the Death of Friends in Childhood."

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven,
Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;
If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,
Forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands
In games whose very names we have forgotten.
Come, memory, let us seek them there in the shadows.

Poetry doesn't get much better than this. Yet in this quite wonderful collection, Mr. Justice includes poem after poem that both engage the intellect and wrap themselves around our hearts. There is a beautiful poem about the death of his grandmother entitled "First Death", and a poem about growing old, "Men at Forty": Men at forty/Learn to close softly/The doors to rooms they will not be/Coming back to. "On an Anniversary" is a beautiful love poem written (I assume) to his wife of thirty years: "Time (but as with a glove)/Lightly touches you, my love."

The list goes on and on. Unlike many modern poets, Mr. Justice writes in many styles besides the free verse that has had a kudzu effect on a lot of poetry-- sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, etc.

I mourn Mr. Justice's recent death but take comfort in knowing that he remains very much alive through his marvelous verse.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Justice: New and Selected Poems December 10, 1999
Donald Justice expresses himself powerfully through an economy of words. His poignant ideas and feelings penetrate his highly structured poetic forms and rhyming schemes without seeming stilted or academic. In accepting the formal and rather out-of-mode forms of poetry, he could compare to painters Sargent or Whistler.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenching, unforgettable poetry July 13, 2005
The poems of Donald Justice reach into the deepest recesses of memory, time, and reflection. There is a certain elegance and eerie understatement about his work that is the hallmark of a great talent. While I think it would be unfair to compare him to Philip Larkin, who was far more of a conscious "Nay-sayer" than Justice ever was, his gentle melancholy and razor-blade lucidity pervade even his lighter work:

"On The Death Of Friends In Childhood

We shall not ever meet them bearded in heaven

Nor sunning themselves among the bald of hell;

If anywhere, in the deserted schoolyard at twilight,

forming a ring, perhaps, or joining hands

In games whose very names we have forgotten.

Come memory, let us seek them there in the shadows"

This luminous regret coupled with the appreciation of fleeting beauty is tempered by the not quite ultimate, but certainly undying, hope of a kind of redemption:

"A Birthday Candle"

Thirty today, I saw

The trees flare briefly like

The candles on a cake,

As the sun went down the sky,

A momentary flash,

Yet there was time to wish"

For all his seriousness, Justice was not afraid to play around, even sometimes employing Dadaist techniques in the subject matter of his poetry: "Ode To A Dressmaker's Dummy", one of his best pieces, was inspired by the instructions found on the back of a store-front window dummy. This is the kind of work that deserves national attention, and I have little doubt that Donald Justice's poetic legacy will with time become legendary.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection! Deep, thought-provoking. January 15, 2002
Donald Justice's work is lyrical and traditional, with a broad reach that pulls you in to his vision of the world. Justice's poetry reflects the certainties of our lives and forms a basis for poetic discourse.
Justice often uses mirror imagery in his poems. In fact, mirrors used to reflect the soul are a major theme in his New and Selected Poems. The mirrors here demonstrate the way our reflections show us an inner "face," not the ones we fix for the world to see. Justice employs this sense of duality to represent thedifferent "faces" of human nature. We all have a bright side that we show the world, and, beneath, a more secret self. This is the image that is often fogged, and warped when we peer closely into it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Benign, not so obscure September 9, 2002
As far as I know, this is the definitive collection of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet. It contains selections from six previous collections as well as fifteen new poems. I found it enjoyable and recommend it to anyone interested in contemporary poetry. Justice writes about issues that many other poets do-memory, loneliness, loss, and history-but approaches such ideas with a fresh and precise language. Many critiques discuss his intense devotion to classical forms and techniques, but there is also a great deal to enjoy in Justice's occasional bending and stretching of such strictures. Definitely recommended.
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