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Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  105 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A genre-bending collection of prose poems from Pulitzer Prize–winner Franz Wright brings us surreal tales of childhood, adolescence, and adult awareness, moving from the gorgeous to the shocking to a sense of peace. Wright’s most intimate thoughts and images appear before us in dramatic and spectral short narratives: mesmerizing poems whose colloquial sound and rhythms ann ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published September 6th 2011 by Knopf
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Sep 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
I will admit that I had to gulp down a flip-page mentality and start over, for I initially got lured into a bit of a quickened pace when I started these prose pieces and didn't give them the kind of breath I would have given to something with a less justified right margin. But once I gave Wright the proper focus, he paid me back for my efforts. Suffice to say that Wright is probably one of the most raw purveyors of emotion writing today. While Stephen Dobyns has criticized a lot of contemporary ...more
Oct 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
after a 2nd read all I can say is wow!
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Not quite as impactful as his other works but still dang good. I thought I might enjoy prose poems more but I found myself missing the challenge and nuance that comes from line breaks and varied spacing.
Ryan Smith
Nov 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"If he could only overcome the fear, like a deafening dial tone in his right ear where he lies alone dressed in night listening, listening." from the poem "Mrs. Alone"

Having loved the often spare nature of Wright's poems over the years, I was intrigued by this new collection of prose poems, many of them considerable in length. I was afraid perhaps of there being too much, of what exactly I'd be hard-pressed to articulate. There is quite a lot here, but not one word of it free of Wright's veteran
Jesse Eckerlin
Jul 01, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a book that contains many brilliant moments and poems but is overlong and marred by a lack of editorial excisions. I love Franz Wright, and the prose poem is a form at which he sometimes excels. And there are great poems here: "One Hundred and First Reason to Stay in Your Room," "Portrait of Two Saints", "The Last Person in Purgatory", "Kierkegaard Proposes", to name a few. And at its best Kindertotenwald successfully straddles the fine line between hallucinatory nightmare, traumatic con ...more
Michael Vagnetti
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was ok
I didn’t get a sense of Wright the word-charger, Wright the performer, Wright the deliberate wielder. I first went looking for techniques, and was let down (I’m sure I could have looked harder). When I say “let down,” I mean lowered, dropped off, “as into an abyss.” While listening to Rückert and Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder. In a dark forest. Late at night. With no maps. This poetry is the stuff of death, bad dreams, youth curdling with macabre adjectives – or all three together. This book would ...more
Brad East
Sep 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This one grew on me. (I stopped and started it more than once over a couple years, so that length of time gives you the opportunity for reassessment.) Wright can be so strange and baffling sometimes, and formally his prose poems are not my cup of tea. But the unordinary beauty, graphic grappling with evil and ugliness, and light amid darkness—features that mark all of his work—are present also here in this new form. He will be missed.
Thaisa Frank
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prose poems. Startling images, economical & beautiful language. Franz Wright doesn't always use the second person, yet throughout these have the urgency of a an urgent letter--sometimes to the writer, sometimes to someone in particular, sometimes to the reader--that trusted stranger in the dark. Franz Wright is not always easy to read. But he is worth it. Highly recommended for serious readers of poetry and prose poetry.
Larry Smith
Aug 28, 2011 rated it liked it
This is a striking collection of prose poems in one form or another, loose but rightly done pieces. Though some read more like prose, others really sing with rhythmic wording and subconscious suggestion. They are deeply encoded and often brutally personal as the author struggles with his sense of self as person and poet, and we search for meaning and form here. If you're fond of the prose poem or of Franz Wright's's a good book.
Michael Morris
Jun 25, 2013 added it
Shelves: poetry
Wright's prose poems amaze and delight. Whether railing against unseen forces or matter-of-factually addressing traumas and their consequences, the various speakers here give a picture of the chaotic universe from the perspective of one half mad with pain, half mad from ecstatic vision. A handful of pieces were a bit opaque, but even there the scenes and poetry are so honest, raw, and masterfully rendered, that even the difficult passages are worth re-reading.
Apr 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
Not sure prose poetry is my kind of thing (or at least this collection)
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Goodreads Librari...: Please combine Kindertotenwald 2 23 Nov 11, 2012 07:54AM  
Born in Vienna, Franz Wright is the author of fourteen collections of poetry. Walking to Martha's Vineyard (Knopf 2003) was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. His newest collections, God’s Silence, and Earlier Poems were published by Knopf in, 2006 & 2007. Wright’s other books include The Beforelife (2001), Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems (1998), Rorschach Test (1995), The Night World and the Word Ni ...more
“This is no occupation for an adult who can look other adults in the eye, carry his own weight, and count himself one of them.” 3 likes
“The moon’s a dead rock, but I still like the word,
so black in its white space.
what can we say to the
moon except You again?

You again.”
More quotes…