Excerpt from

After Reading Tu Fu, I Go Outside to the Dwarf Orchard



East of me, west of me, full summer.
How deeper than elsewhere the dusk is in your own yard.
Birds fly back and forth across the lawn
                  looking for home
As night drifts up like a little boat.
Day after day, I become of less use to myself.
Like this mockingbird,
            I flit from one thing to the next.
What do I have to look forward to at fifty-four?
Tomorrow is dark.
        Day-after-tomorrow is darker still.


Charles Wright at The Academy of American Poets

Charles Wright interviewed by Daniel Cross Turner

There's a very famous--maybe I've said this before--Czech photographer named Josef Sudek. He had only one arm. He was a great photographer and he used this big view camera and he did landscapes and still lifes and things like that. He was once asked why there were no people in his pictures. He said, "Well, I don't know. There are always people there when I start, but by the time I get everything done and take the picture, they've all gone."  And that's sort of the way my poems are. I think of them as being populated with people who are whispering stories in my ear which I then launder in my own way and present, and by the time the poem gets presented, all the people are gone and nothing's left but the whispers.




"Scar Tissue"

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