Analysis of poems
- A Blessing
- A Mad Fight Song For William S. Carpenter, 1966
- A Note Left In Jimmy Leonard's Shack
- A Poem About George Doty In The Death House
- A Secret Gratitude
- A Way To Make A Living
- A Winter Daybreak Above Vence
- As I Step Over A Puddle At The End Of Winter, I Think Of An Ancient Chinese Governor
- At The Executed Murderer's Grave
- Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio
James Arlington Wright was an American poet.
Wright first emerged on the literary scene in 1956 with The Green Wall, a collection of formalist verse that was awarded the prestigious Yale Younger Poets Prize. But by the early 1960s, Wright, increasingly influenced by the Spanish language surrealists, had dropped fixed meters. His transformation achieved its maximum expression with the publication of the seminal The Branch Will Not Break (1963), which positioned Wright as curious counterpoint to the Beats and New York schools, which predominated on the American coasts.
This transformation had not come by accident, as Wright had been working for years with his friend Robert Bly, collaborating on the translation of world poets in the influential magazine The Fifties (later The Sixties). Such influences fertilized Wright's unique perspective and helped put the Midwest back on the poetic map.
Wright had discovered a terse, imagistic, free verse of clarity, and power. During the next ten years Wright would go on to pen some of the most beloved and frequently anthologized masterpieces of the century, such as "A Blessing," "Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio," and "I Am a Sioux Indian Brave, He Said to Me in Minneapolis."
Technically, Wright was an innovator, especially in the use of his titles, first lines, and last lines, which he used to great dramatic effect in defense of the lives of the disenfranchised. He is equally well known for his tender depictions of the bleak landscapes of the post-industrial American Midwest. Since his death, Wright has developed a cult following, transforming him into a seminal writer of ever increasing influence. Each year, hundreds of writers gather to pay tribute at the James Wright Poetry Festival in Martins Ferry.
Wright's son Franz Wright is also a poet. Together they are the only parent/child pair to have won a Pulitzer Prize in the same category (Poetry).
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