James Arlington Wright

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James Arlington Wright Biography

James Arlington Wright was an American poet.

Wright first emerged on the literary scene in 1956 with The Green Wall, a collection of formalist verse that was awarded the prestigious Yale Younger Poets Prize. But by the early 1960s, Wright, increasingly influenced by the Spanish language surrealists, had dropped fixed meters. His transformation a ...

James Arlington Wright Poems

1.
A Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
...

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
...

3.
Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
...

4.
Beginning

The moon drops one or two feathers into the fiels.
The dark wheat listens.
Be still.
Now.
...

5.
Hook

I was only a young man
In those days. On that evening
The cold was so God damned
Bitter there was nothing.
...

James Arlington Wright Comments

dheivanaikavi 18 June 2018

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0 2 Reply
Warren Falcón 10 July 2016

I am stunned to see James Wright dislilked by readers on this site. Wright was and is one of the master American poets of the mid-twenteth century, and he can still tune and shape the aspiring would be poet's own eye, ear and vision. If folks on here confuse cheap rhymes (any fool can rhyme) , pompous language, schmaltz, and pablum-scrolls on love, loss, God, high ideals, the virtues of seeming, then Wright's mastery is not for them. I challenge the dislikers to write, say, a poem about beauty without using the word or its cousins, to convey beauty via images and word music such as that myriad beauty will be. Wright can teach you much, very much. Let they who are in despair of the all too-human-world, they who have ears to hear and heart-eyes to see nurture themselves in, with, through, for and by James Wright's quiet poetry evoking beauty/duende in all private human experience, let them remain faithful to that which he and his poems aspire to, the ineffible, the sacrelity of the mundane while enamored of a broken world continually astonished before and after the rain.

9 1 Reply
Peter Stavropoulos 26 May 2012

Sensitive Poet of Love and loneliness.

10 1 Reply