Poetry Monday: “My Place” by Franz Wright
Franz Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who was born in Austria but whose more recently poetry is populated by a distinctly North American geography. After a tumultuous younger life, Wright got religion as an adult and his poetry reflects that shifting sense of divinity, of Christ and The World He Created. I’ve only read one of Wright’s poetry collections: Walking to Martha’s Vineyard. I read it when I lived in Massachusetts (which is also where Wright lives) and if you know about MA’s geography, you know that Martha’s Vineyard is an island which can only be reached by boat. I think the title of this collection tells you a lot about Wright’s worldview and history.
(I should also note that he holds the distinction of having written one of my favorite isolate-able lines of poetry ever, which is: “Bad things happen when you get hands, dolphin.”)
Rain land, walnut blossoms raining
where I walk at sixteen
bright light in the north wind
Still sleeping bees at the grove’s heart
(my heart’s) till the sun
its “wake now”
kiss, the million
friendly gold huddlings
and burrowings of them hearing the shining
I hear, my only
cure for the loneliness I go through:
I believe that one day the distance between myself and God will disappear.