Friday, May 30, 2008

Richard Wright's Haiku

Richard Wright, author of Black Boy and Native Son, was also a brilliant poet. In the last two years of his life he wrote more than 4000 haiku. Haiku: This Other World is a collection of some of his best. I've taken three of my favorites from this site: Terebess Asia Online to share with you for Friday Poetry.


While crows are cawing,
Poppies are dutifully
Deepening their red.

batchelor's buttons

A balmy spring wind
Reminding me of something
I cannot recall.

may 28 046

The sudden thunder
Startles the magnolias
To a deeper white.

Here are links for a biography of Wright, a list of his writings, essay on his haiku form called 'I am Nobody", and the wikipedia entry. Darryl Lorenzo Wellington, in the Spring 2008 issue of "The Crisis Magazine" (of the NAAPC, senior editor Jabari Asim) says of Wright,
"His success made Wright the first Black novelist to write a Book-of-the-Month-Club selection, reach the bestseller lists and receive international recognition. The Mississippi native is generally regarded as African American literature's trailblazer - one of our first literary artists of major distinction."
The centennial of Wright's birth (September 4, 1908)
is being celebrated around the world this year. Julia Wright, his eldest daughter, speaks about it here at Chicken Bones and lists some of the events.

Friday Poetry this week is at Wild Rose Reader. Enjoy!


tanita✿davis said...

Whoa, haiku? Richard Wright? Is there anything the man could NOT do?

And what STUNNING white flowers. The poppy made me want to lick the petals. Such color. I can't WAIT to come back to the West Coast and see the poppies in the sun. Glorious things.

Anonymous said...

I'm greeted by Richard Wright's face on an American authors poster every time I go downstairs, but I never knew he wrote haiku either. These are beautiful. And the photos make me want to dive right into the flowerbed.

jama said...

What gorgeous gorgeous photos and perfect haiku. Thanks!

Karen Edmisten said...

Wow! I didn't know Richard Wright wrote haiku either. Gorgeous, as are your photos.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

He wrote haiku? Wow, you learn something new every day (or at least if you visit a wrung sponge).

Your photograph of the poppy is beautiful. That dark's almost ...not sinister, but very, very mysterious and curious.

Jules, 7-Imp

Sarah Reinhard said...

I just love those and the pictures just make me all shivery and smiley! :)

Sara said...

That magnolia picture startled me with its intense crispness. I could feel the petals. You and the poetry/photograph muses have really got it going on lately. Perfect pairings.

Mary Lee said...

Wow! Those reds and blues and whites. So vivid. And how perfect to pair such vivid pictures with the vivid words of haiku!

Hey, I loved your impromptu Pied Beauty variation in the comments for my post this week. I just wanted you to know that I issued you a formal challenge to sit down with Pied Beauty and your beginnings and write a full-blown variation!

Lone Star Ma said...

I didn't know Wright was a poet, also! We read Native Son in high school and it still gives me chills - so powerful.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

I know - I was surprised to find his haiku too. I really want to get that volume Haiku: This Other World. I can't make through Native Son or Black Boy - they are too heartbreaking for me. Raw and anguished and full of violence. And I think based on his real experiences...