Dust to lust to disgust to trust to must to just to dust.



Wm. Walters is a professor of English and linguistics at Rock Valley College, in Rockford, IL. His poems have appeared in literary magazines such as Chiron Review, Foliate Oak, and The Recusant and in the Cowboy Poetry Press poetry/fiction anthology Unbridled II.

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6 Responses

  1. Monty

    These words, to me, sound less like a ‘brief bio’, and more like one person’s opinion/perception of the man.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    W.W., you don’t give us much to go on, but though it’s probably true that Tolstoy isn’t read much these days, Henry Fonda now is also dust. If nothing else, you are a minimalist. I’ll look you up if I ever travel to Rock Valley.

  3. Radice Lebewsu

    Albeit a bauble, neatly done, in the tradition of Bentley or Nash.

  4. Nathaniel McKee

    Well, this has made me want to look up a short biography of Tolstoy now so I can see these stages play out.

    • Wm. Walters


      Not sure there’s a good short biography on this incredibly complex man. There are some fine long ones though–particularly A.N. Wilson (500-600 pp.) and Henri Troyat (700-800 pp.). And, of course, there are some largely autobiographical characters in the novels. But, again, nothing’s short–War and Peace (pressing 2,000 pp.), Anna Karenina (about 1,000 pp.), and Resurrection (a good 500 pp.).

      The autobiographical essay “Confession” might be the best place to start. It’s probably not even a hundred pages–pretty short for Tolstoy!

      Wm. Walters

  5. Radice Lebewsu

    When I lived in Russian House at the University of Washington in Seattle, we were only allowed to speak Russian, and we had to have Russian names; I took the name Andrei [sic] from Tolstoy’ s “War and Peace”. Even at that young age, I was discovering the fluidity of names. One
    insignificant detail, which I found interesting, was that the first colour photograph in Russia was of Tolstoy, from which the following bilding+ [sic] came.

    Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) at 82: The First Colour Photograph in Russia

    He’s sitting on a slatted, wicker-like, white chair,
    whose right arm his right arm rests on, and right hand holds,
    while his left hand lies on his lap. Up in the air,
    his left black boot and gray-pant leg there overfold
    across his right leg firmly planted on the ground.
    His long-sleeved blue shirt his old shoulders’ contours mold,
    down which his long white whiskers fall in strands around
    his light-brown, round face, and serious countenance,
    as if at something grim he had recently frowned.
    He sits before a sun-lit background’s dark tree trunks,
    beyond, which are vague shrubberies and branches bare,
    before, which is his stare, pushed keen and out in front…
    as if it were a mountain waterfall’s despair.


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