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The Beforelife: Poems

Wright, Franz

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ISBN 10: 0375411542 / ISBN 13: 9780375411540
Published by Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A., 2001
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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About this Item

Dark grey cloth spine over red boards, gilt tiitles. Unread, as new in like DJ with light smudge at foreedge. 75 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 8057

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Beforelife: Poems

Publisher: Alfred a Knopf Inc, Westminister, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Edition: First Edition.

Book Type: Book

About this title

Synopsis:

In this stunning collection, Franz Wright chronicles the journey back from a place of isolation and wordlessness. After a period when it seemed certain he would never write poetry again, he speaks with bracing clarity about the twilit world that lies between madness and sanity, addiction and recovery. Wright negotiates the precarious transition from illness to health in a state of skeptical rapture, discovering along the way the exhilaration of love--both divine and human--and finding that even the most battered consciousness can be good company.

Whether he is writing about his regret for the abortion of a child, describing the mechanics of slander ("I can just hear them on the telephone and keening all their kissy little knives"), or composing an ironic ode to himself ("To a Blossoming Nut Case"), Wright's poems are exquisitely precise. Charles Simic has characterized him as a poetic miniaturist, whose "secret ambition is to write an epic on the inside of a matchbook cover." Time and again, Wright turns on a dime in a few brief lines, exposing the dark comedy and poignancy of his heightened perception.

Here is one of the poems from the collection:
Description of Her Eyes

Two teaspoonfuls,
and my mind goes
everyone can kiss my ass now--

then it's changed,
I change my mind.

Eyes so sad, and infinitely kind.

About the Author:

Franz Wright, the son of the poet James Wright, was born in Vienna in 1953 and grew up in the Northwest, the Midwest, and northern California. His most recent works include Ill Lit: Selected & New Poems and an expanded edition of translations entitled The Unknown Rilke. He has been the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts grants, a Whiting Fellowship, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, among other honors. He lives in Waltham, Massachusetts, with his wife, Elizabeth.

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