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Peter Stitt     1

Part One: On The Green Wall
From "A Foreword to James Wright's The Green Wall"
W. H. Auden     21

The Poetry of James Wright: A First Collection
J. E. Palmer     26

From "Five Young Poets"
Dudley Fitts     34

A World Redeemed
Philip Booth     37

From "Younger Poets: The Lyric Difficulty"
Howard Nemerov     39

Part Two: On Saint Judas
From "Between New Voice and Old Master"
Daniel G. Hoffman     43

From "The Anguish of the Spirit and the Letter"
Anthony Hecht     46

Two Poems and Two Poets
Jane Robinett     49

Part Three: Essays on the Early Work
James Wright
Ralph J. Mills, Jr.     59

In the Mode of Robinson and Frost: James Wright's Early Poetry
Henry Taylor     77

The Work of James Wright
Robert Bly     94

A Redefinition of the Poetic Self: Amenities of Stone
Kevin Stein     117

Part Four: On The Branch Will Not Break
From "Beyond the Middle Style"
Geoffrey H. Hartman     141

The Quest Motif in The Branch Will Not Break
Peter Stitt     144

From "Revelations of What Is Present"
Louis D. Rubin, Jr.     157

From "Modes of Control"
Thom Gunn     159

Wright's "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota"
Bruce Henricksen, R. J. Spendal, David Jauss     162

Part Five: On Shall We Gather at the River
From "Entering the World"
William Matthews     169

From "Samples"
Robert Stilwell     179

From "Pieces of a Broken Mirror"
Paul Zweig     182

James Wright: Words of Grass
Laurence Lieberman     186

Part Six: Essays at Mid-Career
The Present State of American Poetry: Robert Bly and James Wright
G. A. M. Janssens     191

"This Is What I Wanted": James Wright and the Other World
Edward Lense     221

Part Seven: On Collected Poems
Review of James Wright's Collected Poems
Peter Stitt     239

A World Immeasurably Alive and Good: A Look at James Wright's Collected Poems
James Seay     243

From "Three Visionary Poets"
Peter Davison     254

From "Making and Unmaking"
Paul Zweig     257

Part Eight: Essays after Collected Poems
James Wright: "The Body Wakes to Burial"
Richard Howard     263

James Wright
Robert Hass     278

Open Secrets
Stephen Yenser     305

Part Nine: On Two Citizens
Review of James Wright's Two Citizens
Calvin Bedient     331

Indignation Born of Love: James Wright's Ohio Poems
William S. Saunders     335

Review of James Wright's Two Citizens
Richard Howard     352

From "Discovering America and Asia"
Edward Engelberg     355

From "'History Has to Live with What Was Here' . . ."
Alan Williamson     358

Part Ten: On To a Blossoming Pear Tree
Review of James Wright's To a Blossoming Pear Tree
Hugh Kenner     363

Light, Motion, Life
Robert Pinsky     365

From "That We Keep Them Alive"
Marvin Bell     370

Sentimental Forms
Stanley Plumly     373

Review of James Wright's To a Blossoming Pear Tree
Richard Howard     381

Part Eleven: On This Journey
From "Stepping through the Ruins"
Edward Hirsch     387

The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Fano: James Wright's This Journey
Kathy Callaway     390

Exploring the Ruins
Robert B. Shaw     406

An American Lyricist
Alan Williamson     411

Select Bibliography of Secondary Sources     415


Collects the finest critical writing on one of the masters of American poetry