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Deepstep Come Shining

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  806 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Rebellious and fiercely lyrical, the poems of C.D. Wright incorporate elements of disjunction and odd juxtaposition in their exploration of unfolding context. "In my book," she writes, "poetry is a necessity of life. It is a function of poetry to locate those zones inside us that would be free, and declare them so."

C.D. Wright was born and raised in the Ozark Mountains of
Paperback, 128 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Copper Canyon Press
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Jul 10, 2007 Simone rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: reviews
In C.D. Wright’s book-length poem Deepstep Come Shining, the eye and the ear are center. In the book, the result of a road trip taken with photographer Deborah Luster through Georgia and the Carolinas, the speaker of the poem is the “hand of the selenographer, mapper of lost roads.” Wright’s poem is both a travelogue and a language-logue as she oscillates between verbal registers.

Deepstep Come Shining is in perpetual motion—-both in terms of literal mobility as represented by the reoccurring im
Jan 08, 2009 Talia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
When I started reading this I was immediately going to give it 4 stars because I knew it was great, but I (not the book) was obviously lacking something and therefore, couldn't give it a 5, because I didn't know what that something was. However, this is a book-length poem broken into several parts. In fact, this is the only book-length poem I've bought into, not that I've read many. But the thing I really wanted to say about this book is that it reminded me very much of William Faulkner's writin ...more
Dec 26, 2010 Nicola rated it it was amazing
Buckle up, we're going on a road trip through the Ozarks of the mind. On the dial are many stations: on some you'll hear the vernacular, others the academic, King Lear, Kurosawa, Newton, and the boneman are djs; they promise to play synesthesia and static. We will drive right through question marks without stop or signage. The car might lurch a bit as it navigates through periods. There's a lot of white space to look out at. But, I promise, we will arrive somewhere at the end, as the miles and t ...more
Dec 01, 2008 Charmi rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Charmi by: Jake Adam
Shelves: poetry
I need to go back now and re-read Tremble, which I just didn't connect with. I found Deepstep amazing, the kind of book that stays with you after you've closed the cover. It's much more apparant in this work the strong influence that Stanford had/has on Wright's writing. Now I need to pick up some of her other books.
Apr 12, 2009 Donna rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-poetry
This book, although containing some wonderfully poetic lines and interesting ideas, just didn't "grab" me very much. I have read much better work from C.D. Wright. However, I do think she is a gutsy poet in trying something like this book-length imagistic poem. Just not my "thang".
Aug 03, 2009 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I haven't been so excited about a book of poetry in a while. I don't know why I never read C.D. Wright before this. What uniquely wrought concentrated and potent language. I love this book. Now I have to catch up and read all the others.
Sep 29, 2007 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Beautiful and intriguing, this book is so deftly braided, it opens up possibilities. I'm enamored.
Shhhtevie  St. Evie
Jun 20, 2016 Shhhtevie St. Evie rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, own
I’m not a fan of C.D. Wright’s poetry. Yes, I’m clearly an outlier in opinion. Sue me.

I get it; professional poets in academia are crazy about her work, especially since her death. Such a tragedy to lose a talented poetic voice, they say. Still, I have yet to make peace with the mental horrors of Deepstep Come Shining. To this day, I still cringe when I come across the words “chicken love”. The way Wright describes things consecutively, and slings setting and time without respite makes my brain
S.D. Johnson
Apr 15, 2016 S.D. Johnson rated it it was amazing
Another very well done booklength poem or series, however you look at it. I had meant to read Wright's poems for years but of course there is so much to read. I have also become addicted to MOOC learning which is time-consuming. So like others, upon hearing of her death, I swooped in like a vulture and decided that it was the time to finally read her work.

Hers is a unique and extraordinary world. Very modern games with syntax and rhythm are combined, at least in this volume, with "primitive" ima
Olive Sullivan
Mind-blowing. It was not what I expected and I would not say I understood it, but I relished the experience and found Wright's style shaping my own work. I also ended up watching the movie "Smoke," which was referenced several times. At the same time I was reading this book, I also read another book -- the movie and both books all referred to glass eyes, which was kinda trippy as well.
Sean A.
Jan 18, 2016 Sean A. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
CD Wright is heir to the ghost haunted south, and shining memory mimeographs. The challenge of finding meaning somewhere between the decayed water silo and the Captain Ds dumpster.

Experimental in form in an unusually tender and prescient way.

Feb 11, 2008 Caitlin rated it liked it
Recommended to Caitlin by: Margaret
Shelves: poetry
Deepstep Come Shining by C.D. Wright
3.5 out of 5
A teacher of mine recommended this book of poetry to me as an example of poetry that is interested in accessing the wondrous through the commonplace. I think, though, that this poetry is more interested in consuming the commonplace the way a body consumes food for energy, or the flame consumes wood for energy, in order to create or apprehend a brighter vision that is not based around actual eyesight. The style is quite modern--long prose lines in c
Becky Isett
Dec 07, 2007 Becky Isett rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: poets, southerners, symbolists
"Lead me, guide me to the light of your paper. Keep me in your arc of acuity. And when the ream is spent. Write a poem on my back. I'll never wash it off." I really love C.D. Wright, so I am probably biased. This is a story of a southern road trip and vaguely resembles that Kerouac On The Road style. However, Wright is much more succinct and lyrical in her phrases. if you want to ponder over pretty things try reading this one page at a time. If you want a strangely symbolic, interesting, slightl ...more
Jan 31, 2014 Michelle rated it it was amazing
Like a several-day road trip across the south, Deepstep Come Shining captures fragments of speech, idiom, inner thought, signage and all around flotsam of life in its particular southern iteration.
Alyson Hagy
Mar 05, 2016 Alyson Hagy rated it it was amazing
A re-read for me, and a favorite book by a favorite poet. It continues to open my eyes, and my heart, to great spiritual possibilities for narrative.
May 17, 2014 N rated it it was amazing
I think I will have to read this 3 more times to fully unravel everything. & I am excited for those 3 more times.
Gary McDowell
Sep 02, 2007 Gary McDowell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-favorites
Holy crap is this book amazing. Been absolutely absorbed in it for the last couple days. I met C.D. at AWP and she signed the book, and I meant to read it right away because of all the hype it has received from the likes of AC, TT, ZS, etc, but I never read it until now.

It will be a huge help, too. The ms I'm working on is a book-length poem with in-between lil prose pieces and lists and anecdotes. Wright's form in this book is similar to what I'm trying to do... though her book is much more nar
Allie Arend
Jul 11, 2016 Allie Arend rated it really liked it
Arkansas poetry, for sure.
Jun 05, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: a person that has read poetry for awhile.
I bought and read this book since I would have the opportunity to attend a reading by the poet on Wednesday evening (060408). This was a book, rather a long poem, a review of southern culture, of people, places, and things. The name 'Deepstep' is the name of a town in Georgia, and she brings us through many small towns and the lives of the characters that live within. I found it to be an enjoyable read.
Sep 14, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
Really, an amazing book, an amazing experience reading it.

Something of a travelogue about small towns in Georgia, it feels equally indebted to the Odyssey and HD's _Helen in Egypt_ (which of course is Homeric, too). It weaves together several different voices and stories to create a crashing clamoring rush of beautiful euphony.

Of course it's completely baffling. But why should you care?
Alicia Hoffman
Nov 18, 2012 Alicia Hoffman rated it it was amazing
Wright’s collection is strange and mysterious and surprising, but it is also so sensual and palpable that its heart and urgency leap like sparks of electricity off the page. When I read it, I felt it. These poems, or poem sequence, if you will, reside not in the intellect, but in the blood pumping through the veins from that strange source of all feeling; the heart.
Sep 13, 2008 Tamera rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to analyze visual poetry.
Shelves: poetry, southern-lit
This book is completely fantastic. It is so fluid, a complete journey through visuals and abstract imagery. Don't expect to see this story with your eyes, but rather feel it out with your senses. It may seem very free form at times but if you follow the repeated imagery carefully and pay close attention to Wright's clues, it really unfolds quite nicely.
Jan 04, 2008 W.B. rated it it was amazing
I loved this book, especially the way she infuses it with Southern (U.S.) culture and language, and the language is shot with dark beauty, strange glints. At times it reads like ancient Greek poetry transposed to modern day. Rhapsodic and enrapturing. The rhabdos continues on down the line.
Sep 14, 2014 Christine rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, read-in-2014
"Deepstep" is book-length poem that draws heavily on fragmentation and repetition to convey its subject matter (blindness caused by syphilis in a small town in the South). The poem is viscerally uncomfortable, hypnotic, confusing, and compelling.
Jul 22, 2008 Megan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I always forget I live in the south until I read a book about the south. Reminds me of Notley's In the Pines with less narrative structure and more southern vernacular. Even has a line about "riding the pines."
Feb 27, 2009 Claudia rated it it was ok
I don't recall who recommended this book to me or why. There is some good imagery in the book. For me, the book's strength was in its last few pages. That's not enough to support an entire book, however.
Joey Gamble
Aug 05, 2013 Joey Gamble rated it liked it
Here there are moments of beauty & equally luminous moments of ugliness.

An interesting study in the book-length poem, but ultimately (to my mind at this time) ineffective.
May 16, 2009 Rachel rated it did not like it
Wright weaves the strangest experiences into a book that feels like it has an abstract musical construction to it by the end.
Apr 05, 2009 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
I loved this. I was completely absorbed in this world. In some ways it reads like the inside of a dream, in others like a novel.
Luis Correa
Mar 06, 2011 Luis Correa rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Read this flying in and out of ATL. Almost like a notebook. Didn't really understand it, and that's why I like it.
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"lead me, guide me, keep me in your arc of acuity.." 1 21 Jun 01, 2008 12:16PM  
  • Mysteries of Small Houses
  • Sleeping With the Dictionary
  • My Vocabulary Did This to Me: The Collected Poetry
  • My Life
  • Elegy
  • Alphabet
  • With Deer
  • Tea
  • The Tunnel: Selected Poems
  • Garbage
  • The Lichtenberg Figures
  • Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric
  • The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You
  • The Captain Lands in Paradise
  • Science & Steepleflower
  • Plainwater: Essays and Poetry
  • Collected Works
  • The Maximus Poems
C. D. Wright was born in Mountain Home, Arkansas. She earned a BA in French from Memphis State College (now the University of Memphis) in 1971 and briefly attended law school before leaving to pursue an MFA from the University of Arkansas, which she received in 1976. Her poetry thesis was titled Alla Breve Loving.

In 1977 the publishing company founded by Frank Stanford, Lost Roads Publishers, publ
More about C.D. Wright...

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“Everyone in their car needs love. Car love. Meat love. Money love. Pass with care.
Deepstep, Baby. Deepstep.”
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