Monday, October 24, 2011

"Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio" by James Wright

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured nightwatchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.

Source of the text - James Wright, Selected Poems, edited by Robert Bly and Anne Wright. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2005, p. 33.

Bourguignomicon: Game planh. This pure, simple lyric characterizes football as a deep rite of father-son compassion & hinges on the essayistic “therefore.”

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