Donald Justice

(12 August 1925 - 6 August 2004 / Miami / Florida)

Absences - Poem by Donald Justice

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It's snowing this afternoon and there are no flowers.
There is only this sound of falling, quiet and remote,
Like the memory of scales descending the white keys
Of a childhood piano- outside the window, palms!
And the heavy head of the cereus, inclining,
Soon to let down its white or yellow-white.

Now, only these poor snow-flowers in a heap,
Like the memory of a white dress cast down...
So much has fallen.
And I, who have listened for a step
All afternoon, hear it now, but already falling away,
Already in memory. And the terrible scales descending
On the silent piano; the snow; and the absent flowers abounding.

Topic(s) of this poem: love


Comments about Absences by Donald Justice

  • (12/13/2009 7:49:00 PM)


    i really think this poem has so much meaning. im reading it in school and i absolutly love it. this is what i got from it... this man is looking outside and he sees snow, he starts to remember everything he has forgotten, his childhood expecially. i get that he talks about having a fiance (like the memory of a white dress cast down) that has died just like everything else, and like melting snow, everything that seems wonderful eventually fades away and is only a lost memory. i dont know if i got the meanig right, but either way, i love the poem! (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: memory, childhood, snow, flower



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Saturday, November 22, 2014


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