Once I Saw a Sad Old God [Poetry]

by Hans Ostrom

Where do gods go and what do they do
when the belief that sustained them dies?

Maybe some are practical, plan new careers,
train themselves to be allusions.

Others—Thor, for instance—must drink a lot
and bore friends with tales of omnipotence.



This poem originally appeared in The Dominion Review, Barely South Review’s ancestor, back in 1989 (Issue. No. 7).



Hans Ansgar Ostrom (born January 29, 1954) is an American professor, writer, editor, and scholar. Ostrom is a Professor of African American Studies and English the University of Puget Sound (1983–present) where he teaches courses on African American literature, creative writing, and poetry as a genre. He is known for his authorship of various books on African American studies and creative writing, and novels including Three to Get Ready, Honoring Juanita, and Without One, as well as The Coast Starlight: Collected Poems 1976-2006.