IMAGE:  April 2003  GRAPHIC:  University of Chicago Magazine
APRIL 2003
Volume 95, Issue 4
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Unexpected Expertise  
Poetic Justice  
Survival of the Richest
Food-Court Press  

Clouding the Issues

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From the President  

Poetic Justice

Unavoidably Detained

über der grauschwarzen Ödnis.
Ein baum-
hoher Gedanke
greift sich den Lichtton: es sind
noch Lieder zu singer jenseits
der Menschen

Paul Celan, Fadensonnen*

My father and his brothers hunt pheasants
through a fine October day, keeping one row of corn,
golden stubble, between them, sweeping the fields

of the homesteaders. Because it is 1946, the country
is at peace, a minister from Princeton takes
the train to South Dakota, to their farms

to listen to their speech, low German,
a Dutch inflection, the quiet mark of allegiance
to the low countries, now that the borders

are no longer terrible. When the evening light
becomes the fast falling night, the time
of long shadows, he asks for a farmhouse,

a phone, and because something is abiding
in those fields he has not seen, calls the city
to say that he has been unavoidably detained.

—Jane Hoogestraat, AM’82, PhD’89

Hoogestraat, a professor of English and gender studies at Southwest State University in Springfield, Missouri, has published work in Poetry, Southern Review, DoubleTake, Slant, High Plains Literary Review, Yarrow, and South Dakota Review.

*above the grey-black wilderness.


A tree-
high thought
tunes into lights pitch: there are
still songs to be sung on the other side
of mankind.

Paul Celan, Thread Suns


Select a poem:

First Prize - Potter's Song

Second Prize - Pockets

Third Prize - Little Red Schoolhouse

Honorable Mention - Lowdown Lovesick Blues

Honorable Mention - Unavoidably Detained



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