This poem is not addressed to you.
You may come into it briefly,
But no one will find you here, no one.
You will have changed before the poem will.

Even while you sit there, unmovable,
You have begun to vanish. And it does no matter.
The poem will go on without you.
It has the spurious glamor of certain voids.

It is not sad, really, only empty.
Once perhaps it was sad, no one knows why.
It prefers to remember nothing.
Nostalgias were peeled from it long ago.

Your type of beauty has no place here.
Night is the sky over this poem.
It is too black for stars.
And do not look for any illumination.

You neither can nor should understand what it means.
Listen, it comes with out guitar,
Neither in rags nor any purple fashion.
And there is nothing in it to comfort you.

Close your eyes, yawn. It will be over soon.
You will forge the poem, but not before
It has forgotten you. And it does not matter.
It has been most beautiful in its erasures.

O bleached mirrors! Oceans of the drowned!
Nor is one silence equal to another.
And it does not matter what you think.
This poem is not addressed to you.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Donald Justice's poem Poem


  1. Bill says:

    It was uber cool… Yet odd…

  2. Aly says:

    I love this poem. Although Donald Justice can be considered a great “hippie” poet, instead of ranting on about LSD and LBJ, this poem really goes deep into questioning the poem itself. While reading numerous poems and practically falling asleep during Shakespeare’s sonnets (I love Shakespeare, don’t get me wrong), this poem really stood out and made me stop what I was doing, making everything seem un-important and meaningless compared to the message of the poem. But what do my words matter? It wasn’t addressed to me anyway.

  3. Angelina says:

    I didnt get this at first. But after me and my friends analyzed it in class, i kinda got it, but i still dont get the whole meaning of the poem. i looked up nostalgia and i got it that he’s trying to say that the poem has no emotion no feeling, no nostalgia, but it does! it leaves you with the bittersweet wanting of the meaning of the poem, and then that makes you think it may have comfort in it too thats hidden away…

  4. sabrina says:

    wow, that was one of the weirdest poems i’ve ever read- yet very intriging and unique…

  5. shikha says:

    Simply beautiful!! When the heart bleeds, it addresses no one. I identify so much with the poet’s inward journey.

  6. Shantel says:

    I like this poem a lot but i have a really hard time understanding it. Like what does he mean when he says “you may come into it breifly” does this poem represent life. Maybe he meant that this like your life and other people may come into it breifly but you won’t find them their because this is your life. I don’t know but its fun to think about.

  7. Atiya says:

    I’m not a poem expert or anything and i do have trouble looking beyond what’s right in front of me, but i think the poem means that every day we are slowly but surely, like, dying or getting closer to death or something. even as i’m just sitting here.and the ‘no stars in the dark sky’ probably mean something like in this poem or in your life, there is no light or upside. or maybe i’m looking too far into it. At least I gave it a shot.

  8. Sera says:

    It is very unique… It really makes me think… and well done, it is something to be proud of.

  9. sara says:

    I like how blank this poem is, its interesting because it relects my mood when I read it hmm…

  10. rachel says:

    i think by repeating that the poem isn’t for you, it draws people in farther because they want to see what exactly isn’t written to them. the words flow so that you can’t help but read it. i think it’s trying to show that a thing of beauty, like this poem, shant be ignored. but if it is, at least it isn’t adressed to you, so you can read it and it will still be hollow for you, and without much concequence.

  11. Eva says:

    i really like this poem…. im not to sure why but Is this not what the poet is trying to do! he is trying to tell us how empty it is and how it has nothing to do with us but still we read it and ponder it… it is empty but beutiful? I think the poet means for us to read it,then remember it and let it forget us. Or is that just a really rong way to think of it? or is it obvious??

  12. jimmy says:

    this is one of the most confusing poems i have ever raed. the poet is amazing,magical and yet still confusing

  13. Clara says:

    At first I thought it was interesting. The first paragraph is really nice, with those kind of expressive words, but what i dont understand is this, the author kept on repeating the sentence, “this is not addressed to you”, so I think, this is confusing. I dont know what the author really mean by this, but I thought if its not addressed to me, what did I read it for? And, the fact is, that, this poem is not made for anyone neither because it is not addressed to anyone!!!

  14. Kassandra says:

    Weird poem. I thought it was awesome. I mean rock on! But it is weird. I’m not vanished. Still sitting here. I never forget the existence of other people. OK he says it’s “not adressed to you” the only other person it could be addressed to is himself. Then he repeats himself after the reader already knows that it’s not addressed to them. Does this mean it’s not addressed to himself either? That it is not addressed to anyonne? Ooh! Something to ponder…..

  15. Cindy Mateo says:

    Thank u for this poem Donald. After reading it, it actually meant something to me. i now no one else has commented on this poem yet but I’ll b the first to say that like abstract i read this poem and found the answer to all i know. when i speak i speak of me and my happenings some take what i say to offense but i now know what to tell them after each thing i say These words were not addressed to you i spoke them only for my relief u were just there to listen.Just like that poem was not addressed to me neither was this comment i felt good reading ur poem and i thank you for the answer.

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