Overview

In these riveting poems, Wright declares, ?I?ve said all that / I had to say. / In writing. / I signed my name. / It?s death?s move.? As he considers his mortality, the poet finds a new elation and clarity on the page, handing over for our examination the flawed yet kneeling-in-gratitude self he has become. F stands both for Franz, the poet-speaker who represents all of us on our baffling lifelong journeys, and for the alphabet, the utility and sometimes brutality of our symbols. (It may be, he jokes grimly, his ...

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F: Poems

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Overview

In these riveting poems, Wright declares, “I’ve said all that / I had to say. / In writing. / I signed my name. / It’s death’s move.” As he considers his mortality, the poet finds a new elation and clarity on the page, handing over for our examination the flawed yet kneeling-in-gratitude self he has become. F stands both for Franz, the poet-speaker who represents all of us on our baffling lifelong journeys, and for the alphabet, the utility and sometimes brutality of our symbols. (It may be, he jokes grimly, his “grade in life.”) From “Entries of the Cell,” the long central poem that details the loneliness of the single soul, to short narrative prose poems and traditional lyrics, Wright revels in the compensatory power of language, observing the daytime headlights following a hearse, or the wind, “blessing one by one the unlighted buds of the backbent peach tree’s unnoted return.” He is at his best in this beautiful and startling collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
12/02/2013
“I’m really looking forward to inheriting the world I have heard so much about,” Wright declares in “Entries of the Cell,” the long middle poem of his 13th collection. “Cross of Hiroshima// ash traced on a forehead.// The black dove sent out and still out there.” Here, Wright looks back on a life of writing (“Awareness of existing in a universe where death is real came to him in the form of music”), and forward to a vague afterlife—what he calls the “step to take beyond the final step.” But first there’s the “slippery, gory, and unspeakable slaughterhouse,” where “The truth is I’m not feeling so good;// and to judge from their expressions neither is anyone else.” Wright’s vulgar wit is once again on full display, in short and long poems, and a wandering prose of associative brutality. He takes time to reflect (“Music’s an idealized and/ disembodied nervous system”), to question (“When you die the world/ is going to die, the world/ and all the stars—// what dies when you are born?”), and to resign: “I signed my name./ It’s death’s move.” (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385349789
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 96
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Franz Wright’s most recent works include Kindertotenwald and Wheeling Motel. His collection Walking to Martha’s Vineyard was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, and he has also been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Whiting Fellowship, among other honors. Wright lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, the translator and writer Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

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Read an Excerpt

LEAVE ME HIDDEN

I was having trouble deciding

which to watch: Night

of the Living Bloggers, or

Attack of the Neck-Brace People.

In the end I just went for a walk.

In the woods I stopped wondering why

of all trees

this one: my hand

pressed to fissures

and ridges of

bark’s hugely magnified

fingerprint, forehead

resting against it

finally, feeling

distinctly

a heartbeat, vast, silently

booming there deep in

my hidden leaves, blessed

motherworld, personal

underworld, thank you

thank you.



LAMP

Evening street of midnight blue with here and there a lighted window. Of the at home, or the possibly not. Concentrically into the air whose blue sphere gradually gives way to pure lethal space, wave after wave of a pale cadmium yellow expanding into emptiness and past the blood-brain barrier. Lamp manufactured unwittingly in the image of its maker the mind, which goes on emitting dim rays from its frail bulb of skull, from its insignificant and evidently random sector of an infinite place all its own; mind illuminating not much: seen, say, from its own frozen and excommunicated Pluto, it is nearly indistinguishable from any other. All minds are pretty much the same, they’ll tell you so themselves, but secretly each is devoted to the conviction that it is irreparably different from all the rest—­in fact, it is this in which they are most fundamentally alike.

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