Spring 2005

Lesson & The Choice

Franz Wright
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Franz Wright received the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for his most recent collection of poetry, “Walking to Martha’s Vineyard” (2003). His other books include “Midnight Postscript” (1993), “Ill Lit: New and Selected Poems” (1998), and “The Beforelife” (2001). He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim and Whiting Foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry.


Because what is outer is inner
there is no outer
there is no inner–
I am trying to get this straight
And what the long sentence
by cemetery sparrows said
before my presence
dispersing them in its brief
wake, oh
wordless endless.

The Choice

When you look at the sky, when you look at the
               stars, God is not

Someone in hell is sitting beside you on the train.
Somebody burning unnoticed walks past in the street.

Sailors in snow–

God can do what is impossible,
but God can only do what is impossible.

Sad incurable gift.