Discussion Topics

(Masterpieces of American Literature)

Charles Wright has said that in his latter poems, he has tried to combine a “longer line with a condensed subject matter.” How does this technique work in books such as Appalachia or A Short History of the Shadow?

Wright insists that “If you’re not going to write in the historical meters of English language verse, you’d better know what they are and why not.” In what ways does Wright use traditional forms in his work?

Wright claims that he likes “prose poems a lot.” Which of his poems might be regarded as efforts in this genre?

Apply Wright’s comment “When the finger of God appears, it’s usually the wrong finger” to his extensive exploration of religious themes.

Examine how Wright’s idea that “the poet is engaged in re-creating the familiar through introducing the unfamiliar” operates in his work.