“Whatever Untwisted Your Heart”: A Book Review of Caribou by Charles Wright

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The Pumpkin Famiy

This is a book of Wright’s late years, and is therefore steeped in contemplations of the after-life after one dies, and of something beyond life before one dies.

This is also a beautiful book full of images. A lot of his images are silent, or approach silence: the book broods on the edge of quietness and darkness, and is yet illuminated by repeated images of the stars and sunlight, among others. He strongly upholds love and light as well as all things dark: “Whatever untwisted your heart/ is what you will leave behind.”

For poets and readers of poetry this is a wonderful book to dip into, read from cover to cover, and to luxuriate under its starlight. It is breathtaking and yet one of breath and breadth. I think anyone would be proud to have him as our Poet Laureate. If you like his thirst for understanding, and also for beauty, please read one of my other favorite poets, Tomas Transtromer.