In one of his first public statements after learning of his new post, Charles Wright said that, as laureate, “I’ll probably stay here at home and think about things… I will not be an activist laureate, I don’t think…I have no program.”
I’ve seen you out there by the barn,
surreptitiously tucking away your meditative, image-driven lyrics
Between hard covers,
Thinking that absolves you, that it’s enough.
Well, no, goddammit.
I mean, really, I don’t have to explain it to you, do I?
God damn it, get out there and sell us some poetry!
Are you with us, or against us?
The epigraph is from “Charles Wright: The Contemplative Poet Laureate,” an article by Craig Morgan Teicher that appeared on NPR.org. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington spoke of Wright’s “meditative, image-driven lyrics” in announcing his appointment of Wright as poet laureate.
Image: collage of photograph of Ernesto “Che” Guevara de la Serna by Alberto Korda, entitled “Guerrillero Heroico,” and photograph of Charles Wright by Holly Wright.