TO A BLOSSOMING PEAR TREE by James Wright

TO A BLOSSOMING PEAR TREE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wright in Italy, mostly. Little in this new volume radically augments what we've come to expect of this poet: the penchant for crafty plainness, for lines scoured clean of highlights, for a sentimental ah-well kind of ending. In Wright's previous, Midwest poems, the flatness of technique somewhat mirrored the contours of the place-memories invoked; in these European pieces, largely prose, the modulation is more obtrusive and less meet: Dodsworth Encounters Bernini. With their observations, asides, gentle speculations, the poems and prose pieces read like the products of a reflective columnist for a mid-size country newspaper: solid, reliable, sensible, unexciting. One prose piece-""Young Don't Want To Be Born,"" about riding a sting-ray underwater--and one poem--""The First Days,"" with sharp and elegant registration--are exceptional. Otherwise, sadly, Wright's shown a bad hand, almost to the point of impersonality.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1977
Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux