Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota (James Wright)

  November 19th, 2007

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.

          James Wright

***

The last line like a shovel slamming against your chest.

Or maybe not, maybe just two firm hands seizing your shoulders, shaking you, then turning your body and setting your feet upon a different path, & a voice saying: “Go, make up for lost time.”

[posted by C Way at 4:22 PM]

2 Comments

[file under: ART OF THE DAY ]


Comments (2) To “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota (James Wright)”

  1. oliviab said:

    I love the poem, but have to say I suspect have a completely different interpretation of the last line.

    I think it’s saying, what was wasted was all the time NOT observing these intricate beauties. I think he’s saying, I have wasted my life by doing other more worldly things, instead of just sitting quietly and watching and being part of the natural world. I think that if he wants to make up for lost time, it’s by doing more of this.


  2. C.W said:

    Totally agreed! Thanks for stopping by. I wish I had a hammock, incidentally. But I think I need a tree first. And a yard. Shit.


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