The Mailman

By Franz Wright b. 1953 Franz Wright
From the third floor window
you watch the mailman’s slow progress   
through the blowing snow.
As he goes from door to door

he might be searching   
for a room to rent,   
unsure of the address,
which he keeps stopping to check

in the outdated and now
obliterated clipping
he holds, between thickly gloved fingers,   
close to his eyes

in a hunched and abruptly   
simian posture
that makes you turn away,   
quickly switching off the lamp.

Franz Wright, “The Mailman” from Ill Lit: Selected and New Poems. Copyright © 1998 by Franz Wright. Reprinted with the permission of Oberlin College Press.

Source: Ill Lit: Selected and New Poems (Oberlin College Press, 1998)

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Poet Franz Wright b. 1953

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Home Life, Relationships, Jobs & Working, Activities

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Franz  Wright

Biography

Franz Wright’s collections of poetry include The Beforelife (2001), God’s Silence (2006), and Walking to Martha’s Vineyard, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2004. He has received a Whiting Fellowship and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his poetry. Wright has translated poetry by Rainer Maria Rilke and Rene Char; in 2008 he and his wife, Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright, co-translated a collection by the Belarusian . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Home Life, Relationships, Jobs & Working, Activities

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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