Thursday, September 22, 2011

James Wright

"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.




This poem by James Wright very well condenses and presents the pastoral, sensual experience, slightly askew and renewed by individual perception. However, what I think makes this poem beautiful is not necessarily the natural images or sense of place, but its ability to transport the reader past physicality into the speaker's psychic relation to it. That is primary. This poem is much more about internal movement than external or sensual existence.

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