"It smells like snow," I will say.

For today's Poetry Friday, I present an excerpt from a longer Franz Wright poem. The poem is called "East Boston, 1996."

You already know I'm a Franz Wright junkie, so I don't have to tell you that I love these words. The last five lines of this section in particular linger in my mind in the most powerful way — I find myself thinking, Unendurable, unendurable at strange times.

The smell of snow is a bit of a motif throughout the book of poems that this one is from, God's Silence. I take my cue from this poem, the first in the book, and interpret it as a sign of hope — hope that one can change and begin over again.


Night Walk


The all-night convenience store's empty
and no one is behind the counter.
You open and shut the glass door a few times
causing the bell to go off,
but no one appears. You only came
to buy a pack of cigarettes, maybe
a copy of yesterday's newspaper—
finally you take one and leave
thirty-five cents in its place.
It is freezing, but it is a good thing
to step outside again:
you can feel less alone in the night,
with lights on here and there
between the dark buildings and trees.
Your own among them, somewhere.
There must be thousands of people
in this city who are dying
to welcome you into their small bolted rooms,
to sit you down and tell you
what has happened to their lives.
And the night smells like snow.
Walking home, for a moment
you almost believe you could start again.
And an intense love rushes to your heart,
and hope. It's unendurable, unendurable.

– Franz Wright

Poetry Friday round-up at Check It Out

7 comments:

Q 11/07/2008 2:14 PM  

Sometimes people only need someone who will listen.

Sarah Louise 11/07/2008 2:17 PM  

ooh. Thanks.

xo,

SL

sparkleandglitter 11/07/2008 3:12 PM  

I really like that :)

odessa 11/08/2008 2:42 PM  

i so loooove this poem! i bought his book just for this one! :)

The_Ballerina 11/08/2008 2:47 PM  

This is the first time I have ever read anything by Franz Wright. I’m not sure if it was to my liking or not but it was interesting and different. I will have to look up more of his work!

P.S. I love the fashion/ballet pictures you posted. I've seen them before but they get more beautiful every time I see them!

cuileann 11/10/2008 9:20 PM  

Odessa - I didn't know you were a Franz Wright fan! That makes me ever so happy!

Tobey 11/10/2008 9:31 PM  

yes, that's beautiful. it gives me goosebumps. and i know what you mean about really good lines from poems repeating in your head. "The Sunlight on the Garden" by Louis MacNeice. read it out loud as if it didn't rhyme...

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