Thursday, October 06, 2005

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

I chose this poem because of its simplicity or for me at least thinking that much. Often times when I read poems, I am confused by what the author is "really" trying to say, but in this poem I think it is quite clear. A scene is described from the vantage point of lying in a hammock in Minnesota on a farm. The author is looking around from where he is, and describing the scenery in a flowery form. He describes a bronze butterfly as, "Blowing like a leaf in green shadow."
I like in the poem how you can see ascertain many details about the time of day and year from reading closely. He writes that the cowbells are following one another, so it is probably around sunset when the cows will be fed. Also, it is probably summer and warm weather since the author is outside on hammock. The final line about the poem gave me two ideas-one of humor and one of a a serious tone. Since the author wrote that he wasted his life, he could be being sarchastic about the situation; or he could be serious and by reflecting on his situation think that his life was a waste.


Blogger Michael Overton said...

I like the way you described the poem. As I read the poem i felt kind of the same way. The imagery was very strong and a perfect picture was carved into my mind of the scene the speaker must have been in. The last line threw me off as well, but i think that he may have been sarcastic. Lying in a hammoc and looking at all the beauty of the world some may think is a waste. For me, that is the meaning of a perfect day. Being busy all the time, thats when i think to wasting my life.

3:20 PM  

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