Wednesday, August 16, 2006

James Wright

I was reading James Wright last night and 2 things occurred to me: (1) I really like Franz Wright, despite his annoying behavior, and I see where he got his mystic naturalism from (2) Originally, I didn't really get him, but now I see what seemed too simple, too "just there," was actually fine crafted and deliberate. I go back to that chapter on Rilke in Stephen Doybn's book of essays, of how Rilke started as a callow artiste, but through hard work, was able to create a fully perfect merging of form and content. I think I'm pretty skeptical of the whole "genius artist" idea, and that it has to take hard work to make something lasting. Sometimes it's just accident, I believe, sometimes I feel the Beats had it right, first said, best said. But in Wright, I can see how years of hard work resulted in poetry that seems easy, but really isn't. Here's a Wright poem anyway: Depressed by a Book of Bad Poetry, I Walk Toward an Unused Pasture and Invite the Insects to Join Me by James Wright Relieved, I let the book fall behind a stone. I climb a slight rise of grass. I do not want to disturb the ants Who are walking single file up the fence post, Carrying small white petals, Casting shadows so frail that I can see through them. I close my eyes for a moment and listen. The old grasshoppers Are tired, they leap heavily now, Their thighs are burdened. I want to hear them, they have clear sounds to make. Then lovely, far off, a dark cricket begins In the maple trees.


Blogger J Martin said...

Hey, Don.

Laurel tagged me to list some favorite books on my blog. The list is there. Would you do it, too, and then tag some others?

8:29 PM  
Blogger LKD said...

Oh, those burdened thighs.

And the dark cricket.

I haven't read this poem in a while. I think I'll find my Wright and read him tonight.

I've never read Franz. Perhaps, I should.

Thanks for posting this poem.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Don said...

I'm glad you liked the poem. I should put more up by others, maybe.

8:14 PM  

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