Poet C. D. Wright, a one-of-kind major force in poetry, died on January 12, 2016——a shock to those who knew of her work, and a loss to the poetry world. This obit in The New Yorker by Ben Lehrer tells the story.
It’s impossible to select “representative” work for her, since her poetic style changed in dramatic ways over her career, so the best I can do is post a poem I like.
Everything Good between Men and Women
By C. D. Wright
has been written in mud and butter
and barbecue sauce. The walls and
the floors used to be gorgeous.
The socks off-white and a near match.
The quince with fire blight
but we get two pints of jelly
in the end. Long walks strengthen
the back. You with a fever blister
and myself with a sty. Eyes
have we and we are forever prey
to each other’s teeth. The torrents
go over us. Thunder has not harmed
anyone we know. The river coursing
through us is dirty and deep. The left
hand protects the rhythm. Watch
your head. No fires should be
unattended. Especially when wind. Each
receives a free swiss army knife.
The first few tongues are clearly
preparatory. The impression
made by yours I carry to my grave. It is
just so sad so creepy so beautiful.
Bless it. We have so little time
to learn, so much… The river
courses dirty and deep. Cover the lettuce.
Call it a night. O soul. Flow on. Instead.