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Appalachia: Poems

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  177 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Almost thirty years ago, Charles Wright (who teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and has won both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award for Poetry) began a poetic project of astonishing scope--a series of three trilogies. The first trilogy was collected in Country Music, the second in The World of the Ten Thousand Things, and the third began w ...more
Paperback, 80 pages
Published November 29th 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published November 1st 1998)
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Nov 23, 2007 Trebro rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This is part three of the third part of a trilogy of poetry books by Mr. Wright, who I've not read before. For better or worse, I came into this with no idea of the scope of his work.

In general, I was quite pleased.

Writing primarily about an area I'm quite familiar with (though I'm by no means rural, I've grown up in and around the Appalachian Mountains, and visited them frequently, with an upcoming trip into them again on Monday), I was happy to see that Wright actually tries to use his skills
Jan 02, 2015 Carol rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Our current Poet Laureate is at his best doing poems of rural America. This book roams from updated meditations on the Book of the Dead to fireworks on the 4th of July. Part of a trilogy.
Amy DeLong
"The Appalachian Book of the Dead" series was a diamond in the coal of this book (coal meaning deep, rich, powerful, good stuff). I love how the poems go gradually and gently through the seasons, sweeping you along like a lazy, meandering creek with no where really to go. To me, the desire to savor and enjoy the words as they arrive on the page is the mark of a truly great collection of poems.
S.D. Johnson
May 12, 2012 S.D. Johnson rated it really liked it
Obviously there are things I really like about Charles Wright or I wouldn't be re-reading him after many years. I think I knocked a star off of my *Black Zodiac* rating simply for the fact that he had made inane comments about Mark Rothko's paintings all being like looking into the void... Rothko's paintings were a religious experience for him to paint, one he hoped he could communicate to those who looked at them. Wright's statement was preposterous. Anyway, *Appalachia* is hardly distinguishab ...more
David Sam
Nov 02, 2014 David Sam rated it really liked it
Charles Wright is a spiritual poet who questions everything including his questions. He is a poet of nature who suspects that nature has a trick up her sleeve. Landscape and language interplay and he asks much of both, received much, but never enough.

In this collection, he reads from an imagined "Appalachian Book of the Dead" and takes us deep into wonder, and fear, and hope, and resignation, "Until there is nothing else" but silence.
Erica Lorraine
Jan 27, 2016 Erica Lorraine rated it it was ok
I was not overly impressed with this book. The Appalachian region is a beautiful background for poetry and literature, and I feel like Charles squandered this opportunity. Instead of invoking graceful and complex imagery with his words, his poems were obscure and unnecessarily complicated. There were a few good poems, but over all, his work was uninspiring.
Nov 27, 2012 Stefanie rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry
I don't read a lot of poetry, and this set didn't especially appeal to me. I thought the focus would be more place-based and in Appalachia, but then again, I don't know anything about Charles Wright. The poems grew stronger as I progressed through the book, and there were a few gems, but overall I wasn't particularly affected.
Jose Araguz
Aug 05, 2012 Jose Araguz rated it it was amazing
The third book in the third trilogy of a trilogy of trilogies if my understanding is correct. What's great about Wright is you can dip in whenever and learn something, feel something new. This collection has his poem for Larry Levis, an outstanding poem. Good stuff.
Aug 22, 2007 polly rated it it was amazing
There's nothing I can say about Charles wright except that I love his poetry, and so does my 2-month old son! (it's a little cerebral for him but he's enjoying the 'readings' we do) :)

my favorite contemporary poet, imagery to break your heart.
Patrick Mcgee
May 12, 2013 Patrick Mcgee rated it it was amazing
Another great collection from Charles Wright. I don't know what else to say about his poetry since I have gushed about it so much over the last several weeks. Go check it out. Highly recommended!
Andrew Reeder
Jan 12, 2013 Andrew Reeder rated it it was amazing
A startling, succinct collection of verse which offers us a momentary glimpse at a myriad collection of frozen vignettes exposed in the illuminating glow of well written prose.
Mar 17, 2009 Aran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Charles Wright, fellow Tenneseean and lover of Italy..... I heart you big time.
Tina Schumann
Jan 04, 2009 Tina Schumann rated it it was amazing
The best of Charles Wright in my HO.
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