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Friday, June 24, 2011

Poetry Friday--Bye-and-Bye


The latest collection of poems by the Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Charles Wright, is Bye-and-Bye: Selected Late Poems [811.54 WRI].

On a PBS Newshour segment in March of this year, Wright said,
...if a guy can't say what he has to say in three lines, he better change his job. Well, I haven't gotten that far yet, but at least I'm down to six lines.
In Bye-and-Bye we can see how Wright has attempted to distill his thoughts and observations. The final portion of the book is "from Sestests" and is made up entirely of the six-line poems Wright mentioned above. Here's one that surprised me:
When the Horses Gallop Away
from Us, It's a Good Thing

I always find it strange--though I shouldn't--how creatures don't
      care for us the way we care for them.
Horses, for instance, and chipmunks, and any bird you'd name.
Empathy's only a one-way street.

And that's all right, I've come to believe.
It sets us up for ultimate things,
                                                                  and penultimate ones as well.
It's a good lesson to have in your pocket when the Call comes to call.
The Poetry Friday Round-Up is being held at Carol's Corner.

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