Friday, July 29, 2011

I Wish I'd Written This

What an ending!
By James Wright 

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.

from Above the River: The Complete Poems and Selected Prose.

Click on the title to go to's posting of Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota.  Click on the poet's name to learn more about James Wright.


  1. I really enjoyed this. Thanks so much for introducing me to new poets. I really appreciate the "I wish I'd written this" feature. :-)

  2. Beautiful imagery ; the last line about wasting his life smarts a bit. There is pain in beauty n beauty in pain.

  3. This poem is razor sharp in its exposee of truth.
    Reminiscent of Andre Gide. An erudite choice by Danny Earl Simmons.


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