James Lafayette Dickey was an American poet and novelist. He was appointed the eighteenth Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress in 1966.
James Dickey was born to lawyer Eugene Dickey and Maibelle Swift in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended North Fulton High School in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. In 1942 he enrolled at Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina and played on the football team as a tailback. After one semester, he left school to enlist in the Army Air Corps. Dickey served with the U.S. Army Air Forces as a radar operator in a night fighter squadron during the Second World War, and in the ... more »
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James Dickey Poems
The Heaven of Animals
Here they are. The soft eyes open. If they have lived in a wood It is a wood. If they have lived on plains
Farm boys wild to couple With anything with soft-wooded trees With mounds of earth mounds Of pine straw will keep themselves off
The Hospital Window
I have just come down from my father. Higher and higher he lies Above me in a blue light Shed by a tinted window.
For The Last Wolverine
They will soon be down To one, but he still will be For a little while still will be stopping
The last time I saw Donald Armstrong He was staggering oddly off into the sun, Going down, off the Philippine Islands.
Hunting Civil War Relics at Nimblewill C...
As he moves the mine detector A few inches over the ground, Making it vitally float Among the ferns and weeds,
Off Highway 106 At Cherrylog Road I entered The ’34 Ford without wheels, Smothered in kudzu,
We have all been in rooms We cannot die in, and they are odd places, and sad. Often Indians are standing eagle-armed on hills
Pursuit From Under
Often, in these blue meadows, I hear what passes for the bark of seals
The states when they black out and lie there rolling when they turn To something transcontinental move by drawing moonlight out of the great
In a stable of boats I lie still, From all sleeping children hidden. The leap of a fish from its shadow Makes the whole lake instantly tremble.
The Dusk of Horses
Right under their noses, the green Of the field is paling away Because of something fallen from the sky. They see this, and put down
The Shark's Parlor
Memory: I can take my head and strike it on a wall on Cumberland Island Where the night tide came crawling under the stairs came up the first
So I would hear out those lungs, The air split into nine levels, Some gift of tongues of the whistler
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
The Heaven of Animals
Here they are. The soft eyes open.
If they have lived in a wood
It is a wood.
If they have lived on plains
It is grass rolling
Under their feet forever.
Having no souls, they have come,
Anyway, beyond their knowing.
Their instincts wholly bloom
And they rise.
The soft eyes open.
To match them, the landscape flowers,
Outdoing what is required:
The richest wood,
The deepest field.
For some of these,
It could not be the place
It is, without blood.
These hunt, as they have done,
But with claws and...