this one looked at the window...

Last night, in a parked car, waiting, I’m reading Donald Justice, Collected Poems – I have a little light – and conclude that what I want, what I both need and demand from poetry – is not to be taken outside myself. I don’t read to be entertained, don’t read to be enlightened or to learn. My reading – no matter the genre – always focuses on a connection with words or image. I want to move deeper inside myself. That’s why I read … play guitar … watch films … listen to the wind, to rivers, to voices.

I’m always searching for words that make me tilt my head, left – my eyes move away from the page. Somewhere inside, I say yes, yes. And I’m a happy man.


– from Counting the Mad

This one thought himself a bird,
This one a dog,
And this one thought himself a man,
An ordinary man.
And cried and cried No No No No
All day long.


LKD said...

Reminds me of that quote about most men leading lives of quiet desperation.


I just googled that quote to make sure I had it right (I was questioning whether the correct verb was "lead" or "live") and ran up against the complete quote, which I'm quiet certain I've never encountered before:

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."


I like this bit of Justice you posted. I don't know that I've read any of his work before.

Just found, and loved his "Love's Strategems."

And man oh man, his "Poem" is pretty damned swell. I like the idea of the poem forgetting its readers.

Thanks for this post, Sam. You articulated perfectly the reason why I read poetry and literature, listen to music, look at art and walk through the woods.

I'm always interested in journeying inward.

Collin said...

I've been a fan of Justice for many years. Good extract here.

I notice you have a photo of Atlanta under "what's in my head." Or maybe you just have Georgia on your mind.

Liz said...

Sam, love what you wrote...and the poem.


poetwithadayjob said...

the contentment...the deepening of a connection with the self...it's why I write it, too.

sam of the ten thousand things said...

Thanks for the visit.