The World of the Ten Thousand Things Poems 1980-1990

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

240 Pages



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This artful yet earthy book fully reveals the keen, candid, and reflective thinking and writing that have made Charles Wright one of America's most beloved—and honored—contemporary poets. Throughout The World of the Ten Thousand Things we find his typically insightful and journal-like reflections on, explorations of, and hymns to both our natural and spiritual realms.

Collecting poems from Wright's The Southern Cross (1981), The Other Side of the River (1984), Zone Journals (1988), and Xionia (1990), this book is itself "a single poetic sequence," as Richard Tillinghast has noted, "worthy of comparison with such extended works as The Bridge by Hart Crane, The Far Field by Theodore Roethke, and Dream Songs by John Berryman."


Praise for The World of the Ten Thousand Things

"Since the early 1980s, Wright has increasingly abandoned short lyrics for journal poems that weave diverse thematic threads into a single autobiographical fabric . . . [He] is at liberty to spin out extended meditations that pick up, work with, lay aside, and return again to landscapes, historical events, and ideas . . . Wright's gift for verbal music, his ability to evoke sensory experience and a boldness of metaphorical reference, get the juices flowing . . . [He is] a poet of great purity and originality."—Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review

"There is no poet of his generation whose career has unfolded with such genuine authority as Charles Wright's, or whom I read with more astonishment and gratitude. There is no book published this year [1990] I could recommend more highly."—J.D. McClatchy, Poetry

Reviews from Goodreads



  • 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