Charles Wright Reads ‘No Angel’

BY artsdesk  March 1, 2011 at 1:43 PM EDT

Charles Wright reads “No Angel.”

No Angel
In the Kingdom of the Hollow-at-Heart, the insect is king.
In the Kingdom of the Beyond,
all lie where the ground is smooth.
Everything’s what it seems to be, and a little less.

In the land of the unutterable,
words float like reflections across the water.
Nobody visits us here.
Like shadows, we spread ourselves until our hands touch,
then disappear in the dark.

Charles Wright has written more than 20 books of poetry and his work has won nearly every major award, including the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award.

The NewsHour traveled to Wright’s home in Charlottesville, Va., where he has lived for more than 27 years. For Wright, poetry is his “reason for living” and his work serves as a sort of autobiography, exploring his relationship with language, landscape and the idea of god. Now in his 70′s, Wright’s later poems are concise, often just six lines.

He told the NewsHour, “It’s hard to get more into less, but it can be done.” Read the transcript from our conversation with Charles Wright.