Terse and consistent, Wright's 15th book (and second from Knopf) returns to the haunted territory of The Beforelife (2001) with a wider range of formal tools. Heartfelt but often cryptic poems, split into short, sometimes even single-line stanzas, explore the poet's troubled romantic life, his self-destructive past, his attraction to a Christian God and his difficult memories of his father-influential American poet James Wright (1927-1980). The younger Wright can deliver a lucid analogy in a single line ("We were/ about as useful as a hammer and nail made of gold"), or stop short in epistemological doubt: "The seeing see only this world." Some poems address James Wright directly ("At ten/ I turned you into a religion"); others take up, laconically and often powerfully, a history of substance abuse and mental illness: "Risperdal whisperdoll// all alone in the dark/ garden." "Letter" bluntly ties the speaker's Christian seeking to his sense of human loneliness: "I keep my eyes fixed on the great naked corpse, the vertical corpse/ who is said to be love/ and who spoke the world/ into being before coming here/ to be tortured and executed by it." Wright's work relies on the force of affect and personality, more than on any particular formal choice; his use of fragments can recall Jean Valentine or Donald Revell, while his psychological probing can call to mind Frank Bidart. His best work may be his least typical, as in the rhyming "Auto-Lullaby," but fans will find Wright's self-diagnostics moving throughout.
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In this radiant new collection, Franz Wright shares his regard for life in all its forms and his belief in the promise of blessing and renewal. As he watches the ?Resurrection of the little apple tree outside / my window,? he shakes off his fear of mortality, concluding ?what death . . . There is only / mine / or yours,? / but the world / will be filled with the living.? In prayerlike poems he invokes the one ?who spoke the world / into being? and celebrates a dazzling universe?snowflakes descending at nightfall, the intense yellow petals of the September sunflower, the planet adrift in a blizzard of stars, the simple mystery of loving other people. As Wright overcomes a natural tendency toward loneliness and isolation, he gives voice to his hope for ?the only animal that commits suicide,? and, to our deep pleasure, he arrives at a place of gratitude that is grounded in the earth and its moods. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
There are some moving poems in this book. They come from a very deep place. I take up the book, read a few poems, and then put it down to absorb and to think about them.Published 1 month ago by E. Holden
I read it right after Mr. Wright's death. The poems were unbelievably beautiful and any who is poet, as I am,
or loves poetry, naturally do, should have this their collection. Read more
Probably the best book of poetry there is. Franz Wright had a way of saying so much in an economy of the most well-chosen words. His imagery is unmatched.Published 2 months ago by Lori D Widmer
Sometimes his poetry makes me stop, and wonder. Sometimes it puzzles me. Sometimes I just put it away and think.Published 3 months ago by William T Walker
Looks great and feels new. Happy I saved quite some money on this wonderful book I've longed to have.Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I am not usually enthusiastic about poetry, but Franz W touches my soul with this beautiful work. Gorgeous, paradoxical, darkness and light requiring each others presence in order... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer