Saturday, June 20, 2009


Charles Wright's new volume, Sestets: Poems, is remarkable on a number of levels. The poems accumulate, recurring themes deepen as you move along. The nature of description; the function of time; faith and poetry, etc. The poems are very wise, and reminiscent of some of the wisdom poetry of Scripture.

Since we are in the longest days of the year, I offer this selection. I don't know if it is the best poem in the volume, but it is the most appropriate for today:

Music for Midsummer's Eve

Longest day of the year, but still, I'd say,

too short by half.

The horses whacked, the dog gone lost in the mucked, long grass,

Tree shadows crawling toward their dark brothers across the field.

Time is an untuned harmonium

That Muzaks our nights and days.

Sometimes it lasts for a little while,
sometimes it goes on forever.


The following excerpt from another poem, "No Entry," is probably one of the truest things I've read in poetry in a long time.

"It is not possible to imagine and feel the pain of others.
We say we do but we don't.
It is a country we have no passport for,
and no right of entry."

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