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Monday, 25 February 2013

Write something in which the ‘I’ of the text expresses yearning for something/someone he or she is never going to obtain or attain.   It could be a matter of love, or a loss in the past, a fantasy of becoming a rock star, winning an Olympic gold.  It could be some wish about a relationship, say, with a parent which just might by repaired after all these years.   Or it could be ‘just everything in my life’.

The overall ‘format’ of the text is the ‘if only…’ which we whisper only to ourselves, or which we find among the papers of those who are now dead.  Or, of course, it could be some kind of repudiation of all this yearning and at last becoming free.

How do you interpret James Wright’s poem?

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

1 comment:

  1. A dreamy sort of yearning for the most part. the symbols not difficult to come to terms with -- the empty house etc. It's the droppings of last year's horses blazing up into golden stones which seems the most ambiguous. That's open to a whole raft of expositions I would suggest.