donald justice | poem to be read at 3 a.m.

3 10 2007

poetreader.jpg

Poetry Dispatch No. 17 | October 20, 2005

Poem to Be Read at 3 a.m. by Donald Justice

Excepting the diner
On the outskirts
The town of Ladora
At 3 a.m.
Was dark but
For my headlights
And up in
One second-story room
A single light
Where someone
Was sick or
Perhaps reading
As I drove past
At seventy
Not thinking
This poem
Is for whoever
Had the light on

strichstrich.jpg

I have received a number of comments about the origin of the inscription above, as well as an occasional question concerning proper grammar (case). The line, for me, became one of those unforgettable lines of poetry which unknowingly takes permanent residence inside us, ready to be referenced at any time and place.

The poem where the line appeared (and still belongs in full measure) surfaced more than twenty-five years ago for me at a time when I was living an on-the road-writer’s existence, Door County to Chicago (a pathway/lifeline of freelance writing I pursued for ten years), forever finding my way between two places, all hours of the day and night, passing through fields and small towns.

A kind of a dream state: city life, country life. Writing stories and poems in my head while speeding through rural landscapes, loving the light in barns early in the morning… slowing down through small towns in pitch dark…finding comfort in the window light from farmhouses hovering in the night air like blessings. Norbert Blei

About these ads

Actions

Information

3 responses

19 05 2008
Scott

What city is he refering to in the poem “a poem to read at 3 am” Is it in iowa. i read somehwere it was not!

21 05 2008
norbert blei

I have seen at least one reference to Iowa.
I’m not aware the poet ever identifed the state.
I’m not sure it matters.
The strength of the poem is beyond Ladora.
–norbert blei

7 04 2011
Annie

The poem references the small town Ladora, Wyoming.
Hope this helps!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 669 other followers

%d bloggers like this: