Collected PoemsBook - 2000
Here, together for the first time, are Wright's previously published collections -- The Homecoming Singer (1971), Soothsayers and Omens (1976), Explications/Interpretations (1984), Dimensions of History (1976), The Double Invention of Komo (1980), Elaine's Book (1988), and Boleros (1991) -- along with the new poems of Transformations (1997). By presenting Wright's work as a whole, this collection reveals the powerfulconsistency of his theme -- a spiritual or intellectual quest for personal development -- as each book builds solidly upon the previous one.
Wright examines history from a multicultural perspective, attempting to conquer a sense of exclusion -- from society and his own cultural identity -- and find solace and accord by linking American society to African traditions. He believes that a poem must articulate the vital rhythms of the culture it depicts and is dedicated to a pursuit of poetic forms that embody the cadence of African American culture. In "The Albuquerque Graveyard", he offers a poignant elegy to victims of slavery's Middle Passage and also reveals the purpose of his poetry.