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Buffalo Yoga Poems

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

96 Pages


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Never has Charles Wright's vision been more closely aligned with the work of those ancient Chinese painters and writers who inform his poetry than in Buffalo Yoga, his newest collection of verse.
Wright's short lyrics, in Charles Simic's words, "achieve a level of eloquence where the reader says to himself, if this is not wisdom, I don't know what is" (The New York Review of Books). The poems in Buffalo Yoga are pristine examples of the Tennessee poet's deft, painterly touch—"crows in a caterwaul" are, for example, "scored like black notes in the bare oak." Throughout these pages we find Wright employing such masterful imagery to make an oblique, expansive, and profound interrogation of mortality—especially in the title sequence, where the soul is "a rhythmical knot. / That form unties. Or reties."


Praise for Buffalo Yoga

"One always opens a new Charles Wright book with certain expectations: that the world of the poems will be at once quotidian and exotic; that the language will be richly metaphoric and surprising; that the attitude will be both sardonic and a bit melancholy. Buffalo Yoga fulfills all of these. It's Charles Wright at his philosophical best, observing his back yard and speculating about the world at large, traveling a leisurely linguistic path. But it's not always the familiar journey; many of the poems in this volume are more explicitly mournful than Wright's previous work, sometimes hesitating on a brief sign of a phrase, sometimes lingering with the sustained attention of meditation."—Sarah Kennedy, Shenandoah
"[Wright] finds the sublime in the unlikeliest places, and at his best makes you think such places are exactly where to look."—William Logan, The New Criterion
"[Wright's] penetrating and ravishingly gorgeous lyrical poems are at once classically philosophical and freshly revealing. For Wright, the brimming natural world is holy, yet he anthropomorphizes nature with rampant inventiveness, intimacy, wit, and wonder . . . Buffalo Yoga, the title of this elegantly contemplative collection and of the long, enrapturing poem at its heart, evocatively names the union between nature and human consciousness . . . Wright, a profoundly yogic poet, illuminates and exalts in the entire astonishing spectrum of existence."—Donna Seaman, Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Charles Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the National Book Award, teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
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  • Charles Wright

  • Charles Wright was awarded the National Book Award in Poetry in 1983 for Country Music and the 1995 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Chickamauga. In 2008, he was honored for his lifetime achievement with the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry. He is also the winner of the Pulitzer Price, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Griffin Poetry Prize, and the Bollingen Prize for American Poetry. In 2014, Wright was named the 20th Poet Laureate of the United States for 2014-2015. Wright lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.
  • Charles Wright © Holly Wright