The American hero must triumph over
He wrote of his countryman Warren Harding:
Wright, who died in 1980, grew up in Martin's Ferry, Ohio, in the middle of
the Depression. He knew what hard times were in a factory town in
When I started reading him, thinking I might find something to sum up the
Trying to Pray
This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
Or this one, which could be thought of as a commentary on public events which were a lot like bad art:
Depressed by a Book of Bad Poetry, I Walk Toward an Unused Pasture and Invite the Insects to Join Me
Relieved, I let the book fall behind a stone.
His work can be found in "Above the River: The Complete Poems," published jointly by Farrar Straus Giroux and the University Press of New England.
(James Wright's "Trying to Pray" and "Depressed by a Book of Bad
Poetry, I Walk Toward an Unused Pasture and Invite the Insects to Join
Me" from "Above the River: The Complete Poems" 1990 by Anne Wright,
Wesleyan University Press. Used by permission of University Press of
New England. Originally printed in "The Branch Will Not Break," 1963,
Wesleyan University Press.)
Robert Hass, former U.S. poet laureate, is the author, most recently, of the collection "Sun Under Wood."
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
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