April is poetry month. I'll be posting poems inbetween political posts for the rest of April.
I'm starting with James Wright, the Ohioan, with a bow to Progressive Eruptions' frequent commenter, Patrick M.
I never heard James Wright read in person, but I did attend a reading by his son, Franz Wright, with whom he had been estranged and had a difficult relationship. Franz Wright is also a poet, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004, and has had several books published.
In the bio I've linked to, you will read that J. Wright studied the poems of Georg Trakl . On a visit to Austria, I visited the home in Vienna, where he lived and wrote.
Here is one of J. Wright's most famous poems, followed by a little gem, titled "The Jewel":
LYING IN A HAMMOCK AT WILLIAM DUFFY'S
FARM IN PINE ISLAND, MINNESOTA
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,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year's horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.
There is this cave
In the air behind my body
That nobody is going to touch:
A cloister, a silence
Closing around a blossom of fire.
When I stand upright in the wind,
My bones turn to dark emeralds.