Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A James Wright Poem

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
Asleep on the black trunk,
Blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
The cowbells follow one another
Into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,
In a field of sunlight between two pines,
The droppings of last year’s horses
Blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.


1 comment:

  1. Not one of my words can actually express how much I think this poem is great. I have spent many glorious hours in hammocks, in different places with different breezes and smells, and I remember that moment when a peculiar guilt-feeling came upon me. When some need suddenly insisted that I quit that comfort to pursue my ordinary discomforts. As if I did not dare relax for very long, else, in my reveries, I would miss something that was more important. (Whereas today, when I am 60 years old, I have only to close my eyes and imagine the drift of ease under twin trees on a mountain top, to wonder why I ever thought there was much else better than that.)