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Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems Hardcover – September 6, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; First Edition edition (September 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030727280X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307272805
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #849,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Franz Wright’s most recent works include Wheeling Motel and Earlier Poems. 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, a Whiting Fellowship, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other honors. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, the translator and writer Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

More About the Author

Franz Wright's recent works include Earlier Poems, God's Silence, and The Beforelife (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize). In 2004 his Walking to Martha's Vineyard received the Pulitzer Prize. He has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Fellowship, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other honors. He currently lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, the translator and writer Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Sanford Smith on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"If he could only overcome the fear, like a deafening dial tone in his right ear where he lies alone dressed in night listening, listening." from the poem "Mrs. Alone"

Having loved the often spare nature of Wright's poems over the years, I was intrigued by this new collection of prose poems, many of them considerable in length. I was afraid perhaps of there being too much, of what exactly I'd be hard-pressed to articulate. There is quite a lot here, but not one word of it free of Wright's veteran and nuanced touch orchestrating toward a compelling whole that continues to feel lean, even surgical, and always biting. The entire book feels to me...not restive exactly, as the trademark anger and anxieties and lashings are all present, but more emphatically reflective and considering. There is a funereal air about this book, with many continuing returns to rich concerns and anti-concerns about mortality, the past-it feels as if Wright has come around some kind of final bend, or crested a last hill and is pausing in his book to look both ahead and behind him.

I say the book is not restive despite this almost pastoral metaphor I've drawn up, because the darkness and emotion are as brutally unrelenting here as in anything Wright has done before. While some of the poems have the airy, expansive feel of a long sigh let out between bursts in an argument, most of them well up over and over, billowing upward and outward like mushroom clouds, seeming to encompass every person who has ever lived until dissipating, leaving the poet alone under his own merciless gaze.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Richard K. Weems on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I will admit that I had to gulp down a flip-page mentality and start over, for I initially got lured into a bit of a quickened pace when I started these prose pieces and didn't give them the kind of breath I would have given to something with a less justified right margin. But once I gave Wright the proper focus, he paid me back for my efforts. Suffice to say that Wright is probably one of the most raw purveyors of emotion writing today. While Stephen Dobyns has criticized a lot of contemporary poetry as being overly earnest and seeking praise for its intention (in other words, its application to fame or notoriety), Wright seems a glorious exception. When I say raw, I mean it in the broadest sense--Wright offers disturbing and dark imagery to be sure, like the palpable stench of the interior of a mental ward, but also humor that is like hearing Grendel belt out a guffaw. There is something James Tate-like about some of these forms, where poems create and pursue their own logic, but while Tate does so more intellectually, Wright spirals down into the visceral. I always find it a pleasure to read writers for whom their work is nothing short of the very cause of their continued existence, and Wright fits the bill quite nicely, thank you.
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