Overview

Charles Wright called his seventh collection Zone Journals to emphasize how the poems draw on time and place as their starting point. But despite the air of immediacy and informality, they are artfully composed, informed as always by Wright's profound sense of subliminal order.

"Wright finds a scene of writing unique to hinmself and his historical moment, and phrases it over and over in his musical and grieving half-lines, themselves the very rythm of spacious ...

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Zone Journals

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Overview

Charles Wright called his seventh collection Zone Journals to emphasize how the poems draw on time and place as their starting point. But despite the air of immediacy and informality, they are artfully composed, informed as always by Wright's profound sense of subliminal order.

"Wright finds a scene of writing unique to hinmself and his historical moment, and phrases it over and over in his musical and grieving half-lines, themselves the very rythm of spacious contemplative musing."--The New Republic.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Wright's landscape-centered meditations in verse are laced with dark irony,'' stated PW , commenting that in ``inventive, solipsistic odes'' the author ``fathoms the ceaseless change at the heart of our lives, why we leave what we love best, the intractability of human desire.'' (Jan.)
Library Journal
Called one of our best middle-generation poets, Wright offers as his seventh collection a series of meditations emphasizing time and place. He draws upon history (especially Renaissance Italy), his own travels, and nature (especially rivers, as ``There's something about a river/ No ocean can answer to''); he savors anniversaries (noting on a given day that Cezanne died 77 years ago). But always perceptible is the poet's fascination with the disappearance of the present into the past (``What is it inside us that keeps erasing itself/ when we need it most?'') and the tenuousness of memory (``I can't remember my own youth,/ That seam of red silt I try so anxiously to unearth''). His music and the richness of his images ring true. Jack Shreve, Allegany Community Coll., Cumberland, Md.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429933568
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 852,013
  • File size: 107 KB

Meet the Author

Charles Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the Griffin Poetry Prize, teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

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Read an Excerpt


Zone Journals
Yard Journal--Mist in the trees, and soiled water and grass cuttings splotch The driveway, afternoon starting to bulk up in the west A couple of hours down the road: Strange how the light hubs out and wheels concentrically back and forth After a rain, as though the seen world Quavered inside a water bead swung from a grass blade: The past is never the past: it lies like a long tongue We walk down into the moist mouth of the future, where new teeth Nod like new stars around us, And winds that itch us, and plague our ears, sound curiously like the old songs. 
--Deep dusk and lightning bugs alphabetize on the east wall, The carapace of the sky blue-ribbed and buzzing Somehow outside it all, Trees dissolving against the night's job, houses melting in air: Somewhere out there an image is biding its time, Burning like Abraham in the cold, swept expanses of heaven,Waiting to take me in and complete my equation: What matters is abstract, and is what love is, Candescent inside the memory, continuous And unexpungable, as love is ... 
--Blue jay's bound like a kangaroo's in the lawn's high grass, Then up in a brushstroke and over the hedge in one arc. Light weights down the azalea plants, Yesterday's cloud banks enfrescoed still just under the sky's cornice, Cardinal quick transfusion into the green arm of the afternoon. Wax-like flowers of sunlight drift through the dwarf orchard and float Under the pygmied peaches and pears All over America, and here, too, the blossoms Continuing down from nowhere, out of the blue. The mockingbird's shadow is burned in the red clay below him. 
--Exclusion's the secret: what's missing is what appears Most visible to the eye: the more luminous anything is, The more it subtracts what's around it, Peeling away the burned skin of the world making the unseen seen: Body by new body they all rise into the light Tactile and still damp, That rhododendron and dogwood tree, that spruce, An architecture of absence, a landscape whose wordsAre imprints, dissolving images after the eyelids close: I take them away to keep them there--that hedgehom, for instance, that stalk ... 
--A bumblebee the size of my thumb rises like Geryon From the hard Dantescan gloom Under my window sash to lip the rain gutter's tin bolgia, Then backs out like a hummingbird spiraling languidly out of sight, Shoulders I've wanted to sit on, a ride I've wanted to take, Deposited into the underlight of cities thronged in the grass, Fitful illuminations, iron-colored plain that lies Littered with music and low fires, stone edge of the pit At the end of every road, First faces starting to swim up: Bico, my man, are you here?Copyright © 1988 by Charles Wright
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