Today is the birthday of the great American poet James Wright, born in 1927. He died 40 years ago at age 52.
Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be a writer. So I was chagrinned when I learned in my teens that a writer with my name had already won the Pulitzer Prize. That's one reason my byline is Jim Wright, not James.
He's in a league of his own.
I found this celebration of Wright's poem on the Poetry Foundation's website:
Paul Zweig of the Partisan Review [observed]: "Long before [he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize], Wright had been acknowledged by a generation of poets as the artisan of a new language for poetry: A style of pastoral surrealism, built around strong images and a simple spoken rhetoric."
You can read my favorite Wright poem, "A Blessing," here.