Caribou

ISBN: 
9780374119027

It’s National Poetry month, so I want to introduce a new book of poetry to you, Charles Wright’s Caribou.  Pulitzer Prize winner, Wright composes strong, elegiac poems in an easily accessible style and whatever subject matter they cover, all lead back to the world’s incredible yet fragile beauty. Here’s a sample from “Natura Morta”: “The tiny torches of the rhododendron leaf tips / Trouble our eyesight, / and call us into their hymnal deep underground.”

The most touching poems discover the magical world of night while also exploring the mystery of death as in “Time and the Centipedes of Night”:  “When the wind stops, there’s silence. / When the waters go down on their knees and touch their heads / To the bottom, there’s silence, when the stars appear / face down, O Lord, then what a hush.”

“Lullaby” addresses similar themes more rhythmically, “Time to go, / Time to meet those you’ve never met / time to say goodnight. // Grant us silence, grant us no reply, / Grant us shadows and their cohorts / stealth across the sky."

What I like best about these poems is that Wright has the transcendent ability to stop time and give you the vocabulary to really see and be part of nature. Check out these words from a poem called appropriately enough “The Last Word”: “I love to watch the swallows at sundown, / swarming after invisible things to eat. / Were we so lucky, / A full gullet, and never having to look at what it is, / Sunshine all over our backs."

These poems are quite meditative and full of grace. As Wright says about the world in one poem, “Words are its knot of breath / language is what it lives on.” Try out this excellent collection and be sure to browse all our poetry books. You will be rewarded.