James Murphy's Reviews > The World of the Ten Thousand Things: Poems 1980-1990

The World of the Ten Thousand Things by Charles Wright
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May 05, 11

Read in May, 2011

The heart of this volume is made up of long journal-like dated entries in free verse. Deliciously absorbing and meditative, they concern themselves with landscapes and the natural world, with ideas, memory, and autobiography. I think of poetry as a kind of wisdom. I get the idea Wright dedicates his poetry to this purpose. His type of extended meditation lends itself to slow, reflective reading. These poems won't be hurried. It'll take years to digest what Wright's saying here, and I like that about the poems, that they're slow to reveal themselves, like haze burning away from a muted morning to become brightness and vibrant color. As a teenager discovering poetry, I cut my teeth (broke some, too) on Eliot and have continued reading him my whole life. I think with Charles Wright I've found a poet I can read with the same devotion and reward that revisits to The Waste Land and Four Quartets have always afforded me. As Eliot accompanied my youth Wright may look over my seniority. I believe I can stand in the middle of his poetry and see new revelations.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Teresa (new)

Teresa Nice review, Murph. I'm becoming more and more interested in free verse. I felt/feel the same about Eliot.


James Murphy I'm promising myself I'll get back to Eliot this summer. I have the Collected Poems but used to carry a tattered copy of Four Quartets with me whenever I had to go out somewhere I expected to have a wait.


message 3: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I gave away my Four Quartets copy (from my university days) when I got the Collected. I probably shouldn't have done that!


James Murphy As long as you have a copy it doesn't matter. It's just nice to have a compact edition that'll almost slip into my pocket to carry along, rather than the bulky hardcover.


message 5: by Teresa (new)

Teresa James wrote: "As long as you have a copy it doesn't matter. It's just nice to have a compact edition that'll almost slip into my pocket to carry along, rather than the bulky hardcover."

Yep, a very nice thing to have.


message 6: by Maria (new)

Maria I love your reviews.


James Murphy Thank you, Maria. It's good to hear from you again.


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