Poetry Focus: Poem by C.D. Wright

What a week we have been having here at Eyewear in chilly London... first, a poem by Robert Pinsky, and now, tonight, a new poem by C.D. Wright.

C.D. Wright, American Poet
Wright is one of the best-known, and most influential, of major contemporary American poets.  Her stylish innovative poetics is a brilliant reminder of how there are still aspects of American poetry that we in the UK can learn from, and admire.

Wright was born in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She received an MFA from the University of Arkansas in 1976. She has published numerous volumes of poetry including One With Others (Copper Canyon Press, 2010) which received the 2011 Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; 40 Watts (Octopus Books, 2009); Rising, Falling, Hovering (Copper Canyon Press, 2008), which won the Griffin Poetry Prize; Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil (2005); Steal Away: New and Selected Poems (2002); and One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana (2003), with photographer Deborah Luster.  Honours include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, the Bunting Institute, as well as awards from the Lannan Foundation, the Witter Bynner Prize, and a Whiting Award. In 1994 she was named Poet Laureate of Rhode Island, a five-year post. In 2013, Wright was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

Obscurity and Voyaging

The hand was having a hard time holding the pen.

A superficial cut.

A long clear silent night.

A book held open by a dolostone.

The occupant selects a sentence, No one knows
how small the smallest life is.

If there’s a call, it will not be answered.

A bath; the burning of sweetgrass soothe the limbs.

As a memory stings the brain.

The furniture serviceable but weird, on the verge
of grotesque.

The vein of light under the door comforted
the occupant.

The air inhales the passerine lines of a single singer.
A motorcycle saws through the song and goes.

An appliance purrs at intervals.

The pen was bought in Gubbio near
the thin band marking the great dying of dinosaurs.

The pen was a gift.

It has been designed to coax a scream
of beauty from a fissure

of  hairiness.

Iridium in the nib.       

poem published online with permission of the author; copyright remains with C.D. Wright 2013.


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