Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon (Paperback)

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Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon By Richard Wright, Julia Wright (Introduction by) Cover Image

Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon (Paperback)

By Richard Wright, Julia Wright (Introduction by)


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Staff Reviews

It is tempting to scan these short works as you would something small and dismissable.Tempting, but impossible.Richard Wright crafted these haiku in France during the last 18 months of his life. They convey a relationship with words that is not tired or suffocated, but rich, meaningful and sustaining. They are the sounds and rhythms that accompany a life in unknown lands and times. Unforgettably powerful.

— Jonesey

Here are over 800 haiku by Richard Wright, one of the early forceful and eloquent spokesmen for black Americans, author of the acclaimed Native Son and Black Boy.

Wright discovered the haiku in the last eighteen months of life. He attempted to capture, through his sensibility as an African-American, the elusive Zen discipline and beauty in depicting man’s relationship, not only to his fellow man as he had in the raw and forceful prose of his fiction, but to the natural world. In all, he wrote over 4,000 haiku.

Here are the 817 he personally chose; Wright’s haiku, disciplined and steeped in beauty, display a universality that transcends both race and color without ever denying them. Wright wrote his haiku obsessively—in bed, in cafes, in restaurants, in both Paris and the French countryside. They offered him a new form of expression and a new vision: with the threat of death constantly before him, he found in them inspiration, beauty, and insights.

Fighting illness and frequently bedridden, deeply upset by the recent loss of his mother, Ella, Wright continued, as his daughter notes in her introduction, “to spin these poems of light out of the gathering darkness.”
Product Details ISBN: 9781611453492
ISBN-10: 1611453496
Publisher: Arcade
Publication Date: February 1st, 2012
Pages: 320
Language: English