Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Unsayable

The Franz Wright reading was pretty good. He read for only about 30 minutes, then took questions. It was a fairly small and intimate audience, about 25-30 people, and it was fascinating to hear him talk about his process, his inspirations, his life, in a less formal setting.

I am enjoying the book. It's quite similar to Walking to Martha's Vineyard in subject matter and tone. Here is one of the poems Wright read. I admire the self-effacing humor of the opening, the sonic pairing of the words "beauty" and "cruelty," and the fine turn the final stanza takes.


Nobody has called for some time.
(I was always the death of the party.)

In a way that leaves
a scar, I
no longer wish to love.

(Come a hairbreadth closer
to this shining
apparition and be consumed in flame.)

I'm still alone with all the world's
beauty and cruelty.

And I recall
here —
what is time? When
is the present?

I'm still here alone in the night hours with everyone.

And everything that once was
infinitely far
and unsayable is now
and right here in the room.

— Franz Wright, from God's Silence


David said...

I agree with you about the last stanza...a sharp turn indeed. And refreshing to see a discussion of FW's poetry instead of his personality.

Radish King said...

In a way that leaves
a scar, I
no longer wish to love.

Heartbreaking. Thanks, Peter.