James Wright was seen as one of America’s finest contemporary poets. His willingness to experiment with language and style made him idolized. According to the Minnesota Review, Peter A. Stitt wrote that Wright’s work represents and parallels the development of the best modern American poets. One thing that remains constant is his themes of loneliness and alienation. Today we celebrate this poet’s birthday by quoting some of his wise words and poems.
1. “Suddenly I realize That if I stepped out of my body I would break Into blossom“James Wright
2. “Poetry can keep life itself alive. You can endure almost anything as long as you can sing about it“James Wright
3. “I close my eyes, and think of water.“James Wright
4. “Practice good personal hygiene. Wash your hands before you eat. Be aware of good clean water and food sources.”James Wright
5. “I write abundantly. And then my next step is to struggle to reduce the ornament, to reduce the abundance-to prune the book, in other words, the way one prunes a tree-so it can grow. This is my idea of a book.”James Wright
6. “Look: I am nothing. I do not even have ashes to rub into my eyes.”James Wright
7. “It goes without saying that a fine short poem can have the resonance and depth of an entire novel.”James Wright
8. “We choose exile as a vantage point; from exile we look back on the rejected”James Wright
9. “I would rather live my life than not live it.“James Wright
10. “In life, you gotta do something. And the medical journals keep on saying if you’ve got a goal or some passion in life, you’ll outlive all the other guys who – the bank manager that retired. They gave him a rocking chair and he rocked himself to death. So you gotta have a passion, whatever it happens to be. Whether it’s this or something else, it doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a reason to get out of bed every morning, as my accountant of 50 years keeps on saying.”James Wright
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