- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Sept. 1 1991)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0374523266
- ISBN-13: 978-0374523268
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.4 x 580.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 431 g
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #704,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The World of the Ten Thousand Things: Poems 1980-1990 Paperback – Sep 1 1991
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“Since the early 1980s, Wright has increasingly abandoned short lyrics for journal poems that weave diverse thematic threads into a single autobiographical fabric. . . . [He] is at liberty to spin out extended meditations that pick up, work with, lay aside, and return again to landscapes, historical events, and ideas. . . . Wright's gift for verbal music, his ability to evoke sensory experience and a boldness of metaphorical reference get the juices flowing. . . . [The World of the Ten Thousand Things is] a single poetic sequence worthy of comparison with such extended works as "The Bridge" by Hart Crane, "The Far Field" by Theodore Roethke, and "Dream Songs" by John Berryman. . . . [Wright is] a poet of great purity and originality.” ―Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review
“There is no poet of his generation whose career has unfolded with such genuine authority as Charles Wright's, or whom I read with more astonishment and gratitude. There is no book published this year I could recommend more highly.” ―J.D. McClatchy, Poetry
About 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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The dead are a cadmium blue.
We spread them with palette knives in broad blocks and planes.
We layer them stroke by stroke
In steps and ascending mass, in verticals raised from the earth.
We choose, and layer them in,
Blue and a blue and a breath,
Circle and smudge, cross-beak and buttonhook,
We layer them in. We squint hard and terrace them line by line.
You can see in this passage the seeds of the lulling rhythm, like walking meditation, that has become Wright's signature: "Blue and a blue and a breath." In the fifteen years since this book was issued, Wright has refined his technique to become master of the minimalist nature lyric; this relatively early collection showcases the transition from poet to genius as the author gropes for and finds his music.
Wright's work is among the best literature to come out of the South this century, and he is only improving with time. I can only assume that the entire Appalachian Book of the Dead series will be reprinted in one gigantic tome sometime in the next decade or two. In the meantime, if you can't afford to buy each of his books now, springing for this one is a great place to start.
to savor his images. They are wonderful and unique.