Meryl Natchez

Meryl Natchez: on Donald Justice's "The Wall"

I like the mysteriousness of this sonnet about Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge. It plays on a story we all know, and yet makes it happen anew. I especially admire how “the first omen” is that they “can find no flaw/ in all of Eden.” We humans don’t seem to be able to bear perfection very long! And “the first omen” sounds so full of dread, followed by the dream of the lion sharpening its claw. We know what’s going to happen and this sets it up. I also like how it takes us right up to the moment of exile and leaves us in dread.