James Arlington Wright

(13 December 1927 – 25 March 1980 / Ohio)

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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
5 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read poems about / on: butterfly, house, green, home, life, horse

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota by James Arlington Wright )

  • Rookie Chris Calloo (8/16/2009 12:38:00 PM)

    Lazy Reader:

    Admit it. You read too quickly. You were lazy. Weak.

    How pleasing to think of last year's horses, a bronze butterfly, cowbells in the ravine,

    How startling, the poem's last line.

    'I have wasted my life.' Is that poetry? Sounds like prose, rhetoric, a declarative sentence. Sounds like telling, not showing.

    Try the poem again. But this time, don't read. Lie in the hammock. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie A E Webster (9/16/2005 7:52:00 AM)

    Wonderful, I first heard this on radio bbc 7, an arresting and peaceful poem, read in a voice beautifully in tune with its meaning. In the final line, sudden even abrupt as a self judgement can be when measuring against a perfection in nature, he (as we) are confronted with the tragedy of our existence; an animal which knows it is dying can never match such a perfection. Contrast this with similiar work by Edwin Muir also. (Report) Reply

Read all 2 comments »

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Caged Bird
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  4. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  5. If, Rudyard Kipling
  6. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  7. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  8. Caged Bird, Maya Angelou
  9. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  10. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
[Hata Bildir]