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Shall We Gather at the...
James Wright
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Shall We Gather at the River

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Paperback, 60 pages
Published May 1st 1968 by Wesleyan (first published January 1st 1968)
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I kept dipping into this book throughout the AWP conference in Chicago last week. It has been one of my favorites for years, but somehow this past week it seemed even more resonant than it had before. Wright makes extraordinary leaps that work because of how urgent and genuine his voice is. For me Shall We Gather at the River is a touchstone. I can't say what date I finished it because I hope I never finish it.
It's a truth universally acknowledged that any poet, if he has the good fortune to live a sufficently long life, must eventually make the transition from writing the Poetry of Youth (i.e., passionate and ornate lyrics about erotic love, the beauty of nature, and the self's quest to establish an individual identity) to writing the Poetry of Middle Age (i.e., a more broad-minded and socially-conscious kind of verse that often requires taking a political or philosophical stance). Yes, this is a swe ...more
Jessica Scofield
To The Muse is the most mysterious lovely poem, I tied myself in visual knots trying to make drawings based on it. I could not do it justice, it is something that has to be expressed in language alone. Or maybe my drawing abilities were not as ambitious as the imagery of this poem. Whatever, I'm grateful for having been introduced to this poem, and this poet, by Dr. Burnham back in 1995.
Claire Sibley
Unbelievable. One of the most arresting books of poetry I've ever read.
Mike Jensen
Honestly, I feel one star of like for this book, but that is what is wrong with the star ratings. How do you star a book you simply don't care for but do not thing is a bad book? My solution is to give it an extra star so it will not appear to be so bad. There was only one poem in this collection that I really liked, a couple more that I thought were OK. One or two that I thought were just bad. Wright is too highly respected to be treated this way by me. You should try him for yourself, but I am ...more
Hot damn. Got motivated to read this after reading a Hass essay on Wright; I wasn't disappointed. Really spare, really bleak, & really awesome.
This is a fantastic collection of poems. It was required reading for a Poetry class in college. Glad it was.
Paul Karcic
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On December 13, 1927, James Arlington Wright was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio. His father worked for fifty years at a glass factory, and his mother left school at fourteen to work in a laundry; neither attended school beyond the eighth grade. While in high school in 1943 Wrig
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