james wright | four poems

13 07 2010

PoetryDispatch No. 326 | July 13, 2010

Four Poems by JAMES WRIGHT

ARRIVING IN THE COUNTRY AGAIN

The white house is silent.
My friends can’t hear me yet.
The flicker who lives in the bare tree at the
field’s edge
Pecks once and is still for a long time.
I stand still in the late afternoon.
My face is turned away from the sun.
A horse grazes in my long shadow.

TRYING TO PRAY

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
Still,
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women’s hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes, and think of water.

IN THE COLD HOUSE

I slept a few minutes ago,
Even though the stove has been out for hours.
I am growing old.
A bird cries in bare elder trees.

TODAY I WAS SO HAPPY, SO I MADE THIS POEM

As the plump squirrel scampers
Across the roof of the corncrib,
The moon suddenly stands up in the darkness,
And I see that it is impossible to die.
Each moment of time is a mountain.
An eagle rejoices in the oak trees of heaven,
Crying
This is what I wanted.

[from: THE BRANCH WILL NOT BREAK, Wesleyan University Press, 1963].

Limited miniature edition of this beloved collection. In celebration of fifty years of publishing, Wesleyan University Press is pleased to present a special miniature edition of this best-selling volume of poetry by James Wright. Originally published in 1963, The Branch Will Not Break was one of the first volumes of poetry published by Wesleyan. The entire book is reproduced in this appealing small format. Click the cover above if you are interested in buying this book.

This is the full-sized paperback edition. Click the cover above if you are interested in buying this book.





james wright | the ice house

6 10 2007

brewery.jpg

Poetry Dispatch No. 35 | December 5, 2005

THE ICE HOUSE by James Wright

The house was really a cellar deep beneath the tower of the old Belmont Brewery. My father’s big shoulders heaved open the door from the outside, and from within the big shoulders of the ice-man leaned and helped. The slow door gave. My brother and I walked in delighted by our fear, and laid our open palms on the wet yellow sawdust. Outside the sun blistered the paint on the corrugated roofs of the shacks by the railroad; but we stood and breathed the rising steam of that amazing winter, and carried away in our wagon the immense fifty-pound diamond, while the old man chipped us each a jagged little chunk and then walked behind us, his hands so calm they were trembling for us, trembling with exquisite care.

(from THIS JOURNEY)








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