James Wright Poems

James Wright was an American poet whose first collection, The Green Wall, was published in 1956. It was awarded the Yale Younger Poets Prize, an incredible accomplishment. He was influenced by the Spanish surrealists and often experimented with meter. His writing set him apart from his more popular contemporaries in the New York Schools and among the Beat poets.

A Blessing

by James Wright

‘A Blessing’ by James Wright describes Wright traveling with his friend and fellow poet Robert Bly and a moment where the two pulled off the highway to admire horses, just like in the text of the poem.

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

by James Wright

‘Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio’ by James Wright is a poem about working-class men attending a football game to watch their sons. 

In the Shreve High football stadium,

I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,

And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,

And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,

Dreaming of heroes.

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