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This article is taken from PN Review 14, Volume 6 Number 6, July - August 1980.

Lional Abrahams

I first came to know of David Wright in the mid-1950s when as editor of Nimbus he published two stories by my late mentor Herman Charles Bosman with an introductory note and, as I recall, appreciative comments by others including T. S. Eliot. It was my friend and co-enthusiast Barney Simon, then living in London, who made me aware of this spontaneous signal of recognition abroad which, since Bosman's now virtually popular name was then in the trough of his relative posthumous oblivion even at home, seemed a brave and miraculous celebration. I was to learn that by temperament and by vocation David Wright is very much a celebrant. In his poetry he not infrequently elegizes, but even his mourning is celebration, offering essentially an account of what has been lost, an affirmation thus that what is now lost was given in the first place and enjoyed; that who has died lived and enlarged the survivors' lives.

He celebrates nature, places, friendships, fortitude, mysteries, himself, the arts, writers. One of the first of his poems to come my way was a celebration of his "countryman, the poet" Roy Campbell:


He can count his enemies, but not his friends.
             ......
He never loved liberty for her name,
Or wept on the disastrous ashes of Guernica,
But he fought for her where he could find her,
Knowing she was not lying in a newspaper column,
But bound, still bound ...


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