Poem of the Week, May 4-10


~James Wright, Shall We Gather at the River (Wesleyan, 1968)


Rodney Jones and I were talking about this poem the other day, and I told him how I’d lifted the image of “the red spider who is God” for my own purposes.  And so it goes in my poem: “Such was your grace.  I was nothing more than a tiny red spider tending to my own needs.”  It then occurred to me that if I were to draw a parallel between Wright’s spider and my own, my speaker has unwittingly become God (a tiny God filled with self-importance, but God nonetheless).  My speaker and I feel honored to be in positions of such eminent power.



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