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A Short History of the Shadow: Poems

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  138 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
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Paperback, 96 pages
Published April 2nd 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published 2002)
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Mike
Oct 22, 2008 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.
Andrew
Sep 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
same format, not quite the same poem...
Michele Benson
Nov 01, 2015 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 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.
Sarah Byrd
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
second favorite poet, of the natural landscape in the mountains
Lily
Apr 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I always return to this collection when I need my feeling fix.
Martin
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Shelves: poetry


Lyrics, fresh.
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  • Winter Stars
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  • The Bridge
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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.”
7 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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