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This title in other editions

Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems

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Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A groundbreaking collection from Franz Wright in which the most intimate thoughts and images appear before us in dramatic and spectral short narratives: mesmerizing poems whose colloquial sound and rhythm announce a new path for this award-winning poet.

In these journeys, we hear the constant murmured “Yes” of creation—“it will be packing its small suitcase soon; it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last,” Wright tells us. He introduces us to the powerful presences in his world (the haiku master Bashô, Nietzsche, St. Teresa of Avila, and especially his father, James Wright) as he explores the continually unfolding losses of childhood and the mixed blessings of adulthood.

Can I ask you a question? Those moths in November, where are they now do you think? You remember. We’d see them each evening around three in the afternoon; first a few, a mere bucketful, and all at once millions, everywhere. The cold came, the cold that really means it, and they were gone. They simply vanished, the way we all do in the end, but what does that mean? What does it mean, to say “Where are they?” Where are we?

These haunting pieces deliver a diary of the poet—“a fairly good egg in hot water,” as he describes himself—who seeks to narrate his way through the dark wood of his title, following the crumbs of language: “Take everything,” he suggests, “you can have it all back, but leave for a little the words, of all you gave the most mysteriously lasting.”

Review:

"Wright has written frequently of his father, the poet James Wright (1927-1980). His 12th book, all in prose, takes its title from Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, and has its English equivalent in something like 'Dead Children's Wood.' It imagines a son's life as a kind of living death, one that, as its end nears, has become a forbidding forest of memories where people, places and eras blur together, united by the 'poet's loneliness and abjection, and, savingly, by the kind of humor that permits endurance: 'Sooner or later, like most everyone, I will get down on my hands and knees baa-ing obligingly, offer my throat to the knife, and move on.' In the meantime, the poet fuses Neitzsche's final moments of sanity; 'Husserl's suspension of belief strategy'; bouts of vomiting before watching CNN; fantasies of a 'child psychiatrist' (who 'will not be seeing any patients this evening... until she has finished her homework'); dilations upon religious figures, Basho, Kierke-gaard; and walks 'On My Father's Farm in New York City' into a kind of continuous diaristic fairy tale. The result is a set of sad and engaging 'I do this, I do that' poems spanning a lifetime spent in search of something, and someone, lost: 'I look up, and still you are still nowhere to be seen, still unfound.' (Sept. 7)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

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. Wrights most intimate thoughts and images appear before us in dramatic and spectral short narratives: mesmerizing poems whose colloquial sound and rhythms announce a new path for this luminous and masterful poet.

In these journeys, we hear the constant murmured “yes” of creation—“it will be packing its small suitcase soon; it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last,” Wright tells us. He introduces us to the powerful presences in his world (the haiku master Basho, Nietzsche, St. Teresa of Avila, and especially his father, James Wright) as he explores the continually unfolding loss of childhood and the mixed blessings that follow it. Taken together, the pieces deliver the diary of a poet—“a fairly good egg in hot water,” as he describes himself—who seeks to narrate his way through the dark wood of his title, following the crumbs of language. “Take everything,” Wright suggests, “you can have it all back, but leave for a little the words, of all you gave the most mysteriously lasting.” With a strong presence of the dramatic in every line, Kindertotenwald pulls us deep into this journey, where we too are lost and then found again with him.

About the Author

Franz Wright’s most recent works include Wheeling Motel and Earlier Poems. Walking to Martha’s Vineyard was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, and he has also been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Fellowship, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other honors. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, the translator and writer Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307272805
Author:
Wright, Franz
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Publication Date:
20111031
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
128
Dimensions:
8.52 x 6.19 x 0.58 in 0.64 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » General
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Kindertotenwald: Prose Poems New Hardcover
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Product details 128 pages Alfred A. Knopf - English 9780307272805 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Wright has written frequently of his father, the poet James Wright (1927-1980). His 12th book, all in prose, takes its title from Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, and has its English equivalent in something like 'Dead Children's Wood.' It imagines a son's life as a kind of living death, one that, as its end nears, has become a forbidding forest of memories where people, places and eras blur together, united by the 'poet's loneliness and abjection, and, savingly, by the kind of humor that permits endurance: 'Sooner or later, like most everyone, I will get down on my hands and knees baa-ing obligingly, offer my throat to the knife, and move on.' In the meantime, the poet fuses Neitzsche's final moments of sanity; 'Husserl's suspension of belief strategy'; bouts of vomiting before watching CNN; fantasies of a 'child psychiatrist' (who 'will not be seeing any patients this evening... until she has finished her homework'); dilations upon religious figures, Basho, Kierke-gaard; and walks 'On My Father's Farm in New York City' into a kind of continuous diaristic fairy tale. The result is a set of sad and engaging 'I do this, I do that' poems spanning a lifetime spent in search of something, and someone, lost: 'I look up, and still you are still nowhere to be seen, still unfound.' (Sept. 7)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , 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. Wrights most intimate thoughts and images appear before us in dramatic and spectral short narratives: mesmerizing poems whose colloquial sound and rhythms announce a new path for this luminous and masterful poet.

In these journeys, we hear the constant murmured “yes” of creation—“it will be packing its small suitcase soon; it will leave the keys dangling from the lock and set out at last,” Wright tells us. He introduces us to the powerful presences in his world (the haiku master Basho, Nietzsche, St. Teresa of Avila, and especially his father, James Wright) as he explores the continually unfolding loss of childhood and the mixed blessings that follow it. Taken together, the pieces deliver the diary of a poet—“a fairly good egg in hot water,” as he describes himself—who seeks to narrate his way through the dark wood of his title, following the crumbs of language. “Take everything,” Wright suggests, “you can have it all back, but leave for a little the words, of all you gave the most mysteriously lasting.” With a strong presence of the dramatic in every line, Kindertotenwald pulls us deep into this journey, where we too are lost and then found again with him.

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