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Littlefoot - Charles Wright

Paperback

Published: 10th June 2008
Ships: 7 to 10 business days
7 to 10 business days
$22.25

"Littlefoot," the eighteenth book from one of this country's most acclaimed poets, is an extended meditation on mortality, on the narrator's search of the skies for a road map and for last instructions on "the other side of my own death." Following the course of one year, the poet's seventieth, we witness the seasons change over his familiar postage stamps of soil, realizing that we are reflected in them, that the true affinity is between writer and subject, human and nature, one becoming the other, as the river is like our blood, "it powers on, / out of sight, out of mind." Seeded with lyrics of old love songs and spirituals, here we meet solitude, resignation, and a glad cry that while a return to the beloved earth is impossible, "all things come from splendor," and the urgent question that the poet can't help but ask: "Will you miss me when I'm gone? Charles Wright was awarded the National Book Award in Poetry in 1983 for "Country Music" and the 1995 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for "Chickamauga." In 2008, he was honored for his lifetime achievement with the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. He teaches at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. "After the end of something, there comes another end,
This one behind you, and far away.
Only a lifetime can get you to it,
and then just barely.
Littlefoot," the eighteenth book from one of this country's most acclaimed poets, is an extended meditation on mortality, on the narrator's search of the skies for a road map and for last instructions on "the other side of my own death." Following the course of one year, the poet's seventieth, we witness the seasons change over his familiar postage stamps of soil, realizing that we are reflected in them, that the true affinity is between writer and subject, human and nature, one becoming the other, as the river is like our blood, "it powers on, / out of sight, out of mind." Seeded with lyrics of old love songs and spirituals, here we meet solitude, resignation, and a glad cry that while a return to the beloved earth is impossible, "all things come from splendor," and the urgent question that the poet can't help but ask: "Will you miss me when I'm gone?" "Somewhere in his work, layered with echoes of the masters, there is always room to connect Wright's] highly polished poems to the world where most of us lead mundane lives. "Littlefoot" is a book length poem full of bluegrass, spirituals and Appalachian sunsets. And these, in turn, make up the soundtrack and scenery for the arc of time Wright has lived and recorded in these pages."--Dionisio Martinez, "The Miami Herald"
"Though we seldom speak of Charles Wright as a religious poet, at least not as we might discuss George Herbert or Gerard Manley Hopkins, he is nevertheless among the most spiritual of American poets of the last 50 years . . . This latest collection, actually one long poem composed of 35 numbered but unnamed sections, is another in a series of maps that illustrate Wright's way of living, as pilgrim, between the seen and the unseen, attempting to come as close as possible to the light. This life and art of pilgrimage--Wright has always been conscious of his age, of the ticking of the clock, and Littlefoot makes much of his arrival at 70--involves a rich and detailed awareness, in this case very like Hopkin's own uncanny sensitivity, of the physical world. Landscape, memory, desire, and a wistful acknowledgment of death crowd each page . . . Wright is a pilgrim of the spirit, always on the road, like the Japanese poet Basho, always the reluctant disciple, unambiguous about the holy but burdened with doubt about the holes where the nails have been. And this confluence of spirituality and emptiness brings us to the heritage of Appalachia still present in Wright's work."--David Garrison, "America
""Somewhere in his work, layered with echoes of the masters, there is always room to connect his highly polished poems to the world where most of us lead mundane lives. "Littlefoot" is a book length poem full of bluegrass, spirituals and Appalachian sunsets. And these, in turn, make up the soundtrack and scenery for the arc of time Wright has lived and recorded in these pages. But this is not the work of a journalist or a historian; it is closer to what an abstract painter produces. The shapes on the canvas are not meant to be reproductions of things in the world, but the world is all we know, and we can't help seeing in the painting the shapes of familiar things, like the ones we saw in clouds when we were children."--Dionisio Martinez, "The Miami Herald"

"If Nature is a haunted house, as Emily Dickinson told us, and Art a house that tries to be haunted, then Wright has created in "Littlefoot "one of the most satisfyingly possessed landscapes of his career . . . Inside his lyric, there resides a world well beyond the ordinary . . . It is the heart and soul that he delivers so eloquently." --Thomas Curwen, "Los Angeles Times"

"Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs don't often get mentioned in the works of Pultizer Prize-winning writers, but that's precisely what puts Charles Wright in his unique position among contemporary poets. Somewhere in his work, layered with echoes of the masters, there is always room to connect his highly polished poems to the world where most of us lead mundane lives . . . More often than not, ["Littlefoot"] is a celebration, which is something else that sets Wright apart . . . [Wright] speaks with a sadness that makes the uplifting moments quite credible. Mortality is as inescapable in Wright's depiction of life as it is in life itself." --Dionisio Martinez, "Miami"" Herald"

"By using a combination of short poetic sections and long and stepped-down lines, Wright blends dense, musical imagery with meditative longings to make a poetry that's unique in the contemporary American scene." --Michael Chitwood, "The News & Observer "(Raleigh)

"Charles Wright has been on the lookout for transcendence in his back yard for years. His poems often examine the way an ordinary bit of perception or speech turns suddenly musical. Wright's back yard is his own little piece of the pastoral, world in which ease and wisdom coexist and create each other, where Eastern mysticism merges with Southern laziness...In "Littlefoot," a book-length poem, Wright continues in this way, this time with a greater attention paid to the particulars of his own life and death." --Katie Peterson, "The Chicago Tribue"

"[Wright's] long open verse lines mix genres and sources with seeming effortlessness, but he never stops thinking . .

ISBN: 9780374531218
ISBN-10: 0374531218
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 87
Published: 10th June 2008
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.08 x 14.17  x 0.81
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 1