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Wright and Wright Detached Essay

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While James Wright’s poem “Lying in a Hammock” accentuates the hopelessness in the quickly fleeting moments in time, and Franz Wright’s poem “Flight” exposes the consequences of a distant father on a son longing for a relationship he never had, the two poems are linked by the underlying theme of detachment to their family and to the world around them. It is evident, by juxtaposing these two works, divided by literary devices such as style or syntax, the poets both share in their works underlying themes, induced by the hardship of life itself.
James Wright sets the scene at another’s farm, lying in a hammock. The imagery engulfing Wright is almost dreamlike. The butterfly is asleep appearing as nothing more than a leaf blowing in the wind. Wright paints these dreamy images of nature, his mind moving from the butterfly to the empty house to the retreating cowbells, to the horse golden droppings, to the time of day, and to the lone hawk. Each example, each personification blurs the line between human and non human life, pushing the edge of reality, building upon the last. There is no line in the poem that the reader should disregard; each phrase is a critical. It is vital for the reader to note the two trees, and the beautification of the horse droppings, and the title in which Wright pre-sets the speaker in a place of detachment.
The title tells the reader that Wright is essentially out-of-place; he is at another’s farm, engrossed by his surroundings, subconsciously compelled by the ethereal painting of nature to feel as though he does not belong. Regrettably, the reader might not fully understand the speaker’s feelings until the end of the poem, where the speaker declares that he has wasted his life. However, the poem suggest...


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...y of his father is like a wound that refuses to heal. The reader can sense the direct absentia, the pain.
In the fourth and final segment of “Flight”, past and present collide. Set in 1963, the poet at the age of 45, both James and Franz Wright share the feeling of being trapped behind a wall of glass, James from the outside world and Franz from his father. At the end of Franz’s poem the wall does not dissolve but expands to encompass father and son. Franz Wright’s final section relieves him of some of the longing consume him. Wright’s dream is the only place where he can be reunited with his father, the only place where they can be “together, walking and happily talking and laughing, and breathing.” Conversely, William Duffy’s farm is the place where the guilt and despair finally hits James Wright. It takes both poets moments of isolated reflection to change.



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