The tone of much of this new collection by Donald Justice is autumnal, memorial. These tributes in the form of elegies and homages to the almost forgotten - people and places and times past - constitute an attempt, in the author's words, to 'rescue what might otherwise be lost'. Romantic in spirit but in style firmly realistic, they range in subject matter from Henry James' return to America in 1904, to the hoboes of the thirties, to present-day Florida. At the centre stands a brief prose memoir of early piano lessons which leads to a cluster of poems rehearsing and transforming the same material. The book comes to a close with two stories, one of which has a pendant poem dealing with the same material. Justice is one of those authors known for his formal curiosity and restlessness; in this newest work we encounter again what one of the poems calls the 'love that masquerades as pure technique'.
Donald Justice was born in Miami, Florida, in 1925 and grew up there. After graduating from the University of Miami, where he had studied musical composition with Carl Ruggles, he attended the University of North Carolina, Stanford and Iowa. His first book, 'The Summer Anniversaries', was the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1959. It was followed by 'Night Light' (1967), 'Departures' (1973) and 'Selected Poems' (1979) which the following year was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He has also edited 'The Collected Poems of Weldon Kees' (1960). He has received grants in poetry from The Rockefeller Foundation, The Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.