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By Jay Wright

All summer connotations fill this light,

a symmetry of different scales—the site

of fibrous silence, the velvet lace

of iris, alders the moon can ignite.

One feels the amplitude of grief, the pace

of oscillating stars, power in place

where time has crossed and left a breathy stain.

A body needs the weight and thrust of grace.

I want to parse the logic, spin and domain,

the structure mourning will allow, the grain

of certainty in two estates, the dance

of perfect order, flowing toward its plane.

That bird you see has caught a proper stance, 

unfaithful to its measure, a pert mischance

of divination on the move, the trace

of sacred darkness true to light’s advance.


Jay Wright, "Light’s Interrupted Amplitude" from The Guide Signs. Copyright © 2007 by Jay Wright.  Reprinted by permission of Jay Wright.

Source: The Guide Signs (Louisiana State University Press, 2007)

  • Living
  • Nature

Poet Bio

Jay Wright
Jay Wright, an African-American poet, essayist, dramaturge, and theologian, was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Academy of American Poets awarded Wright the Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement and in bestowing the award, J.D. McClatchy commented, “Jay Wright’s books have appeared like summer lightning, sudden and unexpected, brilliant in the surrounding dark.” He has written ten books of poetry and a play. Before he became a poet and studied comparative literature, he played semi-pro baseball with the San Diego Padres.

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