In this radiant new collection, Franz Wright shares his regard for life in all its forms and his belief in the promise of blessing and renewal. As he watches the “Resurrection of the little apple tree outside / my window,” he shakes off his fear of mortality, concluding “what death . . . There is only / mine / or yours,– / but the world / will be filled with the living.” In prayerlike poems he invokes the one “who spoke the world / into being” and celebrates a dazzling universe–snowflakes descending at nightfall, the intense yellow petals of the September sunflower, the planet adrift in a blizzard of stars, the simple mystery of loving other people. As Wright overcomes a natural tendency toward loneliness and isolation, he gives voice to his hope for “the only animal that commits suicide,” and, to our deep pleasure, he arrives at a place of gratitude that is grounded in the earth and its moods.
...Wright's poems work immediately, electrically, or they do not work at all: repeated rereadings produce neither hidden depths nor secret structures -- nor do they make the poems seem less sincere. Wright offers a very restricted range of experience -- all extremes, all the time -- and a restricted style to match; within it, though, he can discover a spiritual yearning, and a visceral power, which few poets now working can match. Stephen Burt