James Wright

Here you will find the Poem Youth of poet James Wright


Strange bird, 
His song remains secret. 
He worked too hard to read books. 
He never heard how Sherwood Anderson 
Got out of it, and fled to Chicago, furious to free himself 
From his hatred of factories. 
My father toiled fifty years 
At Hazel-Atlas Glass, 
Caught among girders that smash the kneecaps 
Of dumb honyaks. 
Did he shudder with hatred in the cold shadow of grease? 
Maybe. But my brother and I do know 
He came home as quiet as the evening. 

He will be getting dark, soon, 
And loom through new snow. 
I know his ghost will drift home 
To the Ohio River, and sit down, alone, 
Whittling a root. 
He will say nothing. 
The waters flow past, older, younger 
Than he is, or I am.