From Publishers Weekly
Wright's gifts for single long lines, simple description and lyrical sound effects are second to none; he is the recipient of almost every American poetry award, including the Pulitzer. Even so gifted a poet, though, risks repeating himself after 18 books; the longer poems had begun to look like collections of interchangeable lines, however beautiful. If Wright was in a rut, this 19th book has found a neat way out. The 69 poems here, not unlike most of his earlier work, show vistas from the Upper South and points of view derived from Taoism, but they share a self-limiting form that is fresh for Wright: each has only six lines, plus a (sometimes quite long) title. In these sestets great yearnings and brief descriptions collide, cancel or reinforce each other: The heart of the world lies open, leached and ticking with sunlight/ For just a minute or so, says one poem. In another, The past is so dark, you need a flashlight to find your own shoes. Mortality is omnipresent, but so is beauty, in and around Charlottesville (where Wright teaches), in our musical heritage, in the night sky. Wright's compression tries to see that every subject, every image, receives its due. (Apr.)
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If Nature is a haunted house, as Emily Dickinson told us, and Art a house that tries to be haunted, then Wright has created in Littlefoot
one of the most satisfyingly possessed landscapes of his career . . . Inside his lyric, there resides a world well beyond the ordinary . . . It is the heart and soul that he delivers so eloquently. (Thomas Curwen, The Los Angeles Times, on Littlefoot: