James Wright Poems

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James Wright
James Arlington Wright (December 13, 1927 March 25, 1980) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet. Wright first emerged on the literary scene in 1956 with The Green Wall, a collection of formalist verse that was awarded the prestigious Yale Younger Poets Prize. But by the early 1960's, Wright, increasingly influenced by the Spanish language surrealists, had dropped fixed meters. His transformation achieved its maximum expression with the publication of the seminal The Branch Will Not Break (1963), which positioned Wright as curious counterpoint to the Beats and New York schools, which predominated on the American coasts. This transformation had not come by accident, as Wright had been working for years with his friend Robert Bly, collaborating on the translation of world poets in the influential magazine The Fifties (later The Sixties). Such influences fertilized Wright's unique perspective and helped put the Midwest back on the poetic map.

lying in a hammock at william duffy's farm in pine island, minnesota
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in... [read poem]
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