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William Jay Smith is one of the most respected names in American poetry. This collection of new and previously published poems showcases the late work of this American master.
In the volume's opening cycle, "The Atoll," Smith recalls his career as a young naval officer in the South Pacific during World War II. A later section entitled "The Deer and the Dachshund" evokes his lifelong commitment to witty and satiric verse. Yet another section collects his recent translations of foreign poetry, for which Smith is renowned.
The Dachshund leads a quiet life Not far above the ground: He takes an elongated wife, They travel all around.
They leave the lighted metropole; Nor turn to look behind Upon the headlands of the soul, The tundras of the mind.
They climb together through the dusk To ask the Lost-and-Found For information on the stars Not far above the ground.
The Dachshunds seem to journey on: And following them, ITake up my monocle, the Moon, And gaze into the sky.
Pursuing them with comic art Beyond a cosmic goal, I see the whole within the part, The part within the whole;
See planets wheeling overhead, Mysterious and slow, While morning buckles on his red, And on the Dachshunds go.
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