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Black Zodiac

Poems

Charles Wright

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Black Zodiac offers poems suffused with spiritual longing—lyrical meditations on faith, religion, heritage, and morality. The poems also explore aging and mortality with restless grace. Approaching his vast subjects by way of small moments, Wright magnifies details to reveal truths much larger than the quotidian happenings that engendered them. His is an astonishing, flexible, domestic-yet-universal verse. As the critic Helen Vendler has observed, Wright is a poet who "sounds like nobody else."
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Black Zodiac offers poems suffused with spiritual longing—lyrical meditations on faith, religion, heritage, and morality. The poems also explore aging and mortality with restless grace. Approaching his vast subjects by way of small moments, Wright magnifies details to reveal truths much larger than the quotidian happenings that engendered them. His is an astonishing, flexible, domestic-yet-universal verse. As the critic Helen Vendler has observed, Wright is a poet who "sounds like nobody else."

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Excerpt from Black Zodiac by Charles Wright. Copyright © 1998 by Charles Wright. To be published in March, 1998 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.


APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA

I
How soon we come to road's end--
Failure, our two-dimensional side-kick, flat dream-light,
Won't jump-start or burn us in,
Dogwood insidious in its constellations of part-charred cross
points,
Spring's via Dolorosa
flashed out in a dread profusion,
Nowhere to go but up, nowhere to turn, dead world-weight,
They've gone and done it again,
dogwood,
Spring's
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REVIEWS

Praise for Black Zodiac

"Black Zodiac concentrates on Charles Wright's considerable poetic endowment into a new poignance that has to be termed religious. Some of the poems achieve an authentic gnosis in a rapt mode of negative transcendence."--Harold Bloom

"Black Zodiac occupies the position in Wright's career that The Auroras of Autumn holds in Wallace Stevens's: Having long since mastered his characteristic voice, the poet has passed through the terrifying moment when mastery threatens to become mannerism, and he has emerged as a poet whose every line seems completely recognizable and at the same time utterly fresh."--James Longenbach, The Nation

"Combines an impeccable musical and prosaic sense with the kind of humility possessed by the masters."--Carol Muske, The New York Times Book Review
"Black Zodiac concentrates on Charles Wright's considerable poetic endowment into a new poignance that has to be termed religious. Some of the poems achieve an authentic gnosis in a rapt mode of negative transcendence."--Harold Bloom

"Black Zodiac occupies the position in Wright's career that The Auroras of Autumn holds in Wallace Stevens's: Having long since mastered his characteristic voice, the poet has passed through the terrifying moment when mastery threatens to become mannerism, and he has emerged as a poet whose every line seems completely recognizable and at the same time utterly fresh."--James Longenbach, The Nation

"Combines an impeccable musical and prosaic sense with the kind of humility possessed by the masters."--Carol Muske, The New York Times Book Review

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Charles Wright

  • Charles Wright has won, among other honors, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Book Award, and the Academy of American Poets' 1996 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He teaches at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
  • Charles Wright © Holly Wright
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Available Formats and Book Details

Black Zodiac

Poems

Charles Wright

Ambassador Book Award - Winner, L.A. Times Book Prize - Winner, National Book Critics Circle Awards Winner, Pulitzer Prize Winner

BOOKS FOR COURSES AVAILABLE

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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