Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuesday Poem: "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota" by James Wright

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.

By James Wright

To find out more about the poet James Wright, see:


I love the meditative nature of this poem. I don't agree with the last line, but perhaps he is being ironic. Moments of reflection and contemplation of beauty are never wasted, I feel.


  1. That last line is a kick in the head! Great images, wonderful flow of words. But yes, that last line caught me by surprise. I'll remember this one!

  2. The last line is a kicker alright! My sense is that the poet's struck by how much of his life he's spent being "busy" - not being present to what's going on around him. Robert Bly has a great poem, "After Long Busyness", that touches on this theme too. You can find it here; http://www.shigeku.org/xlib/lingshidao/waiwen/bly.htm