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A Short History of the Shadow: Poems

4.33  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Luminous new poems from one who "has long been a poet of gorgeous description" —William Logan, The New Criterion

Landscape, as Wang Wei says, softens the sharp edges of isolation.
Don't just do something, sit there.
And so I have, so I have,
the seasons curling around me like smoke,
Gone to the end of the earth and back without a sound.—from "Body and Soul II"

This is Charles W
...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 2nd 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2002)
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Mike
Oct 22, 2008 Mike rated it it was ok
Another tired-sounding post-Negative Blue collection from Charles Wright. Replaces a mystic curiosity about the world with a lot of subjective introspection. Sure, there is poetry within, but more fleeting than sustained.

Skip this (and Scar Tissue) and go get Littlefoot, it might be the best book Wright has ever produced.
Michele Benson
Nov 01, 2015 Michele Benson rated it liked it
Something about fall makes me want to read poetry. This is not Wright's best collection but there are a few gems. My favorite: " The moon was a promise only partially kept."
Rachel
Dec 31, 2011 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
"I want to settle myself
Where the river falls on hard rocks,
Where no one can cross,
Where the star-shadowed, star colored city lies, just out of reach."
--"Lost Language"

Oh, CW. Oh.
Martin
Martin rated it it was amazing
Mar 19, 2008
Sara Sams
Sara Sams rated it it was amazing
Sep 04, 2014
Lawson
Lawson rated it it was amazing
Jan 19, 2008
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Dec 08, 2007
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Jul 27, 2007
Paul Killebrew
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Jun 05, 2008
Arthur Kayzakian
Arthur Kayzakian rated it it was amazing
Dec 27, 2012
Thackerl
Thackerl rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2010
Simone
Simone rated it it was amazing
Jul 11, 2007
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Jan 26, 2013
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Laura
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Aug 25, 2007
Simona
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Mar 11, 2008
Andrew
Sep 19, 2008 Andrew rated it it was ok
same format, not quite the same poem...
Rob
Rob rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2015
Al
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Aug 04, 2008
Shane
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Jun 28, 2012
Charles
Charles rated it it was amazing
Jun 21, 2014
A Haskell
A Haskell rated it it was ok
Mar 28, 2016
Bojan
May 23, 2012 Bojan rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry


Lyrics, fresh.
Ken
Ken rated it it was amazing
Oct 01, 2007
Tim Hoiland
Tim Hoiland rated it it was ok
May 31, 2015
Matthew David Campbell
Matthew David Campbell rated it it was amazing
Feb 19, 2016
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  • Winter Stars
  • The Lost Pilot
  • Selected Poems
  • The Bridge
  • The To Sound
  • Embryoyo: New Poems
  • Insomnia Diary
  • Collected Poems
  • The End of Beauty
  • Three Poems
  • Song
  • Miracle Fruit
  • Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry
  • Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present
  • Four Questions of Melancholy: New and Selected Poems
  • Interior with Sudden Joy: Poems
  • Late Wife
  • New Collected Poems

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“Each word, as someone once wrote, contains the universe.
The visible carries all the invisible on its back.
Tonight, in the unconditional, what moves in the long-limbed grasses,
what touches me
As though I didn’t exist?
What is it that keeps on moving,
a tiny pillar of smoke
Erect on its hind legs,
loose in the hollow grasses?
A word I don’t know yet, a little word, containing infinity,
Noiseless and unrepentant, in sift through the dry grass.”
6 likes
“A moment that should have lasted forever and forever
Long over—
it came and went before I knew it existed.
I think I know what it means,
But every time I start to explain it, I forget the words.”
6 likes
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