National Poetry Month is about half-over. The English department at school has been making copies of their favorite poems available to students as they walk by particular classrooms, which is a great idea. For me these days, I find myself reading the occasional line from Wendell Berry (whose “Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” graces my desk) or thinking about the beautiful melancholy of Tolkien’s poetry in The Lord of the Rings. But given a chance to read a favorite poem, I will almost always return to Charles Wright’s “Jesuit Graves,” a poem from Black Zodiac, his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection. The poem is a reflection on one of my favorite poets, Gerard Manley Hopkins. I think the poem finds a way here and there to do GMH justice, particularly in its hints towards the poet’s particular style. You can read the poem for yourself here. I recommend that you click the link but then read along silently as you listen to Wright reading the poem in the clip below (and with some authorial background, too). Such a great reading of a well-rendered poem.
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