The word "nostalgia" sometimes has pejorative implications, but like its cousin "sentimental," the term can be approving as well as disapproving -- depending upon who is talking and about what. Most of us feel it occasionally: a wincing yet pleasurable return to what once was familiar, now remote.
With his delicate, virtuoso rhythms and his brooding but good-humored poise, Charles Wright is well equipped to evoke nostalgia while holding it up to a cool light with gentle amusement. In section 15 of his recent book Littlefoot, Wright ponders his own nostalgia: You still love the ones you loved
back when you loved them -- books,
Records, and people.
Nothing much changes in the glittering rooms of the heart.
Only the dark spaces half-reclaimed.
And then not much,
An image, a line. Sometimes a song.
Car doors slam, and slam again, next door.
Snow nibbles away at the edges of the dark ground.
The sudden memory of fur coats,
erotic and pungent,