In his tenth collection of poetry, Franz Wright gives us an
exquisite book of reconciliation with the past and acceptance of
what may come in the future.
From his earliest years, he writes in "Will," he had "the gift of
impermanence / so I would be ready, / accompanied / by a rage to
prove them wrong / . . . and that I too was worthy of love." This
rage comes coupled with the poet's own brand of love, what he calls
"one / strange alone / heart's wish / to help all / hearts." Poetry
is indeed Wright's help, and he delivers it to us with a wry sense
of the daily in America: in his wonderfully local relationship to
God (whom he encounters along with a catfish in the emerald
shallows of Walden Pond); in the little West Virginia motel of the
title poem, on the banks of the great Ohio River, where "Tammy
Wynette's on the marquee" and he is visited by the figure of Walt
Whitman, "examining the tear on a dead face."
Here, in "Wheeling Motel, " Wright's poetry continues to surprise
us with its frank appraisal of our soul, and with his own
combustible loneliness and unstoppable joy.
"From the Hardcover edition."
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