Julie's Reviews > Caribou: Poems

Caribou by Charles Wright
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it was amazing
bookshelves: poetry, best-of-2015, read-2015

This is an old man's poetry
written by someone who's spent his life
Looking for one truth.
Ancient of Days

Caribou is an uncertain prayer to the life beyond this life. Charles Wright is in his late seventies, and many of these poems caress the years and hopes behind the poet in wistful elegy. Wright hopes that whatever awaits him, it will be gentle, and he asks to be forgiven for being uncertain what truth he believes in.

October, Mon Amour
Our history is the history of the City of God.
What's-to-come is anybody's guess.
Whatever has given you comfort,
Whatever has rested you,
Whatever untwisted your heart
is what you will leave behind.

He also passes on the wisdom of his years, a quiet admonishment not to expect more, not to do more, than what is within reach, to be at peace with the now of your life:

Cake Walk
To do what you have to do—unrecognized—and for no one.
The language in that is small,
sewn just under your skin.

Grace II
It's true, aspirations of youth burn down to char strips with the years.
Tonight, only memories are my company and my grace.
How nice if they could outlive us.
But they can't. Or won't.

Elements of Christian faith, its dutiful redemption, mystical transubstantiation, and the wonder of heaven mingle with cyclical process of Buddhism. But the natural world is most precious to Charles Wright:

L'Amor Che Move Il Sol E L'Altre Stelle
I love walking into the setting sun
where nothing is visible but light,
And that nor really visible, just a sweet blinding.
Then coming back to the world
Unharmed, but altered slightly,
as though it were not the same setup anymore.

So much beautiful language here: cloud gobbets and creeks that sniddle along and armadas of clouds Spanished along the horizon, the stepchild hour that belongs to neither the light nor the dark--passages that make me glad this is one of my rare book purchases, for I have scribbled notes in the margin, starred favorite poems, underlined words and verses to refer to again and again.

Caribou is a meditation on the human condition, the end of which is inevitable. And ultimately, it is silent.

Time and the Centipedes of Night
The condition of everything tends toward the condition of
When the wind stops, there's silence.
When the waters go down on their knees and touch their heads
To the bottom, there's silence, when the stars appear
face down, O Lord, then what a hush.
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Reading Progress

April 1, 2014 – Shelved
April 1, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
March 26, 2015 – Started Reading
March 26, 2015 – Shelved as: poetry
March 29, 2015 –
page 31
32.29% ""Unless the late-evening armada of clouds \n Spanished along the horizon are part of it."\n \n OH MY GOD I LOVE THAT SO MUCH."
March 30, 2015 – Shelved as: best-of-2015
March 30, 2015 – Shelved as: read-2015
March 30, 2015 – Finished Reading

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