This 2006 collection by Charles Wright describes the “scar tissue” of living and of nostalgia for real or imagined better times. Wright is not a “nature poet” so much as a philosophical one as Coleridge described Wordsworth, one who uses his relationship with nature to explore and expose life’s challenge of finding meaning. The experience of sunset becomes an analogy for human biography:
“If night is our last address
This is the pace we moved from,
Backs on fire, our futures hard-edged and sure to arrive….
“And where are we headed for?
The country of Narrative, that dark territory
Which spells out our stories in sentences, which gives them an end and beginning…”
Wright’s poetry challenges us—not with obscurity or experimental language, but with living fully awake and aware, where “Something unordinary persists,/ Something unstill, neversleeping, just possible past reason.”
The time spent being so challenged is well worth it.