This is one of my favorite pictures of James Wright…it’s just the way I imagine him! Yesterday was his birthday. He would have been 80 years old.
James was born in Martin’s Ferry, Ohio–his Ohio roots are palpable in his poems; his Ohio humility is palpable in his letters. I love his prose as much as his poems…his connection to the earth; his sense of place. Every time I read his work, I learn something; I feel deeply and I breathe more fully. Thank you, James. Your humble spirit continues, informs, delights.
A TRUE VOICE
for Robert Bly
In northern Minnesota the floors of the earth are covered with white sand. Even after the sun has gone down beyond the pine trees and the moon has not yet come across the lake water, you can walk down white roads. The dark is a dark you can see beyond, into a deep place here and there. Whatever light there is left, it has room enough to move around in. The tall thick pines have all disappeared after the sun. That is why the small blue spruces look so friendly when your eyes feel at home in the dark. I never touched a black spruce before the moon came, for fear it would say something in a false voice. You can only hear a spruce tree speak in its own silence.
– JAMES WRIGHT –