the good darkness...

James Wright

Trying to Pray

This time, I have left my body behind me, crying
In its dark thorns.
There are good things in this world.
It is dusk.
It is the good darkness
Of women’s hands that touch loaves.
The spirit of a tree begins to move.
I touch leaves.
I close my eyes and think of water.


Such a fierce poem, and very real in my life just now. Wright always moved toward the core of the poem – then cut away any imperfections. What he heard was the strongest, and the truest of words.


LKD said...

"Still, there are good things in this world."

Whenever I read that line, I want to burst into tears. I don't. Burst, I mean. But I feel the urge.

The whole poem is hinged on that first word in the title.


I can't recall the last time I even tried.

Thank you, Sam, for posting this poem.

These words are exactly what I wanted/needed to read before going to bed.

anhaga said...

Such a rich poem with worlds in it. The ending?

Is closing the eyes and thinking of water an attempt to hold on to one of the "good things" in the world?

But remember Wright elsewhere: "Come up to me, love,/ Out of the river, or I will/ Come down to you." And water so often has this dark pull for Wright.

An ambiguous ending. Choosing one possible reading over the other might be, for the reader, an attempt at prayer, in its own right.

Collin said...

Such an elegant little poem.