Pulitzer-winning poet Franz Wright died way too early, leaving me yearning for more of his stark words, his letters to his “inner no one.”
Son of the Pulitzer-winning poet James Wright, Franz Wright died of lung cancer last week at age 62 in Waltham, Mass., according to the Associated Press. All his life, he pined for that father, who left the family when Wright was 8.
My favorite of his collections is the 2011 “Wheeling Motel” (Knopf, $19 paper), filled with poignant poems of cunning and complaint.
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Dawns when I can’t sleep I walk,
in thought, all the way
My father loved Thoreau, I wish
he could have walked there
with me once,
my hungover Virgil. Lying in bed
with a big ax
lodged in my head, I still hear him
as if from the next room
bumping into things and cursing.
Give us this day, he mutters,
our daily stone. Nice.
Can’t blame him, though. This morning
can’t sleep for missing him.