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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Poetry endures for human concerns

“Poetry endures when it possesses passionate and primally sincere clarity in the service of articulating universal human concerns.” Franz Wright

An American poet, Wright won the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his book of poetry Walking To Martha’s Vineyard.    In winning the Pulitzer, Wright joined his father James Wright in winning the prestigious award – making them the only father-child pair to win in the same category.  James Wright won for his 1972 volume, Collected Poems.

Unfortunately the Wrights have another distinction, both dying fairly young from cancer – James at age 53 and Franz at age 62.  But in their short lives they each left us with a legacy of plowing new ground in the poetic world, and I highly commend each of their works to every reader.

Here, for Saturday’s Poem, is Franz Wright’s short poem,

Morning Arrives

Morning arrives
by limousine: the tall
emaciated chairman

of sleeplessness in person
steps out on the sidewalk
and donning black glasses, ascends
the stairs to your building

guided by a German shepherd.
After a couple faint knocks
at the door, he slowly opens
the book of blank pages

pointing out
with a pale manicured finger
particular clauses,
proof of your guilt.

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