- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
"In an age of casual faithlessness, Wright successfully reconstitutes the provocative tension between belief and materialism."—Albert Mobilio, The Village Voice
"A significant and true reflection of our time."—Adam Kirsch, The New York Times Book Review
"A culmination of his career. . . . Appalachia shows again why Wright is generally considered one of America's leading poets."—Harold Branam, Magill's Literary Annual
"Wright, recipient of numerous prestigious literary prizes, is a philosopher-poet with a gift for gloriously whimsical imagery and a keen sense of the ephemeral. His inquisitive poems reside at the crux of faith and art. . . . In bright leaping lines reminiscent of Gerard Manley Hopkins, a kindred spirit also enthralled by nature yet keenly aware of our isolation from it, Wright tries to connect with the spiritual by conjuring the ancient beaming of stars, winter's starkness, and the valor of flowers. Finally, in sweet, bemused surrender, he acknowledges both the impossibility of certainty, and our insatiable hunger for it."—Donna Seaman, Booklist
Stray Paragraphs in February, Year of the Rat
East of town, the countryside unwrinkles and smooths out
Unctuously toward the tidewater and gruff Atlantic.
A love of landscape's a true affection for regret, I've found,
Forever joined, forever apart,
outside us yet ourselves.
Renunciation, it's hard to learn, is now our ecstasy.
However, if God were still around,
he'd swallow our sighs in his nothingness.
The dregs of the absolute are slow sift in my blood,
Dead branches down after high winds, dead yard grass and
The sure accumulation of all that's not revealed
Rises like snow in my bare places,
cross-whipped and openmouthed.
Our lives can't be lived in flames.
Our lives can't be lit like saints'hearts,
seared between heaven and earth.
February, old head-turner, cut us some slack, grind of bone
On bone, such melancholy music.
Lift up that far corner of landscape,
there, toward the west.
Let some of the deep light in, the arterial kind.
Stray Paragraphs in April, Year of the Rat
Only the dead can be born again, and then not much.
I wish I were a mole in the ground,
eyes that see in the dark.
Attentive without an object of attentiveness,
Unhappy without an object of unhappiness--
Desire in its highest form,
dog prayer, diminishment ...
If we were to walk for a hundred years, we could never take
One step toward heaven--
you have to wait to be gathered.
Two cardinals, two blood clots,
Cast loose in the cold, invisible arteries of the air.
If they ever stop, the sky will stop.
Affliction's a gift, Simone Weil thought--
The world becomes more abundant in severest light.
April, old courtesan, high-styler of months, dampen our mouths.
The dense and moist and cold and dark come together here.
The soul is air, and it maintains us.
|Stray Paragraphs in February, Year of the Rat||3|
|Stray Paragraphs in April, Year of the Rat||4|
|A Bad Memory Makes You a Metaphysician, a Good One Makes You a Saint||8|
|Thinking about the Poet Larry Levis One Afternoon in Late May||9|
|In the Kingdom of the Past, the Brown-Eyed Man Is King||10|
|Passing the Morning under the Serenissima||11|
|In the Valley of the Magra||14|
|Returned to the Yaak Cabin, I Overhear an Old Greek Song||15|
|Ars Poetica II||16|
|All Landscape Is Abstract, and Tends to Repeat Itself||19|
|What Do You Write About, Where Do Your Ideas Come From?||23|
|The Appalachian Book of the Dead II||26|
|Indian Summer II||27|
|Autumn's Sidereal, November's a Ball and Chain||29|
|The Writing Life||30|
|Reply to Wang Wei||31|
|Giorgio Morandi and the Talking Eternity Blues||33|
|Drone and Ostinato||35|
|Ostinato and Drone||36|
|"It's Turtles All the Way Down"||37|
|Back Yard Boogie Woogie||39|
|The Appalachian Book of the Dead III||40|
|Opus Posthumous II||41|
|"When You're Lost in Juarez, in the Rain, and It's Eastertime Too"||46|
|The Appalachian Book of the Dead IV||47|
|Early Saturday Afternoon, Early Evening||50|
|"The Holy Ghost Asketh for Us with Mourning and Weeping Unspeakable"||51|
|The Appalachian Book of the Dead V||53|
|Star Turn II||55|
|After Reading Tao Ch'ing, I Wander Untethered Through the Short Grass||56|
|Remembering Spello, Sitting Outside in Prampolini's Garden||57|
|After Rereading Robert Graves, I Go Outside to Get My Head Together||59|
|The Appalachian Book of the Dead VI||61|
|Landscape as Metaphor, Landscape as Fate and a Happy Life||62|
|Opus Posthumous III||64|
Posted August 15, 2014
Many poems in the collection are profound meditations on "Landscape, of course, the idea of God and language/ Itself, that pure grace/ which is invisible and sure and clear" ("What Do You Write About,/ Where Do Your Ideas Come From?"); but again and again the poems escape any neat summary and astonish us by confronting us with existence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.