Above the River

James Wright, Author, Donald Hall, Designed by
James Wright, Author, Donald Hall, Designed by Farrar Straus Giroux $27.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-374-12749-7
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Wright (1927-1980) has enjoyed a widespread influence on American poets; this collection of his life's work eloquently shows why. Born to a working-class family in Ohio, Wright was educated at Kenyon College, and though he traveled to Europe and lived in New York City, in his poetry he returned in an often elegiac mode to his industrially marred but still suggestive native Midwestern landscape. Writing with a ``lonely wisdom'' of life's fragility, Wright has few peers; his regrets over the limits of mortality, love and language are tempered, with utmost tenderness, by a sympathetic willingness to experience and endure. In purity of image, rhythm and solitariness of tone, Wright reflects the work of his admired Theodore Roethke and Edgar Arlington Robinson, as well as that of Robert Frost, but the aura of delicately wistful dreaming evoked in matchless free verse is his alone. In this collection, readers can handily compare Wright's early formal poems with his later, more fluid style; sandwiched in are his translations of work by Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda and others. (May)
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X