’s Farm In Pine Island, Minnesota Essay, Research Paper
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
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.
The poem “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota,” by James Wright, expresses the value of a person’s life. The author uses metaphors to link the poem together into showing the importance of life. The vivid descriptions of what the character sees link to the metaphors, and show how the character feels about his life so far.
The first three lines of the poem introduce the reader into the character’s mind. He seems to be enjoying himself by staring at the natural beauty of the scene. The character notices the bronze butterfly, and the cows. In the next lines, “The cowbells follow one another | Into the distances of the afternoon.,” the cowbells are used to show the transition of the day. The passing of the day is spent lying in the hammock, doing nothing but staring at nature.
“To my right, | In a field of sunlight between two pines, | The droppings of last year’s horses | Blaze up into golden stones.” These lines are very significant to the poem. When a person thinks of droppings, they may think of filth, and the insignificance in its existence. However, when the author refers to these droppings as last year’s droppings, the meaning changes completely. The droppings can be seen as life, bland of smell, because of their age. The character may seem to think his life is rather lifeless, as if he has been wasting time doing nothing. The horses can be seen as a metaphor for time with their link to the last year. Together, the horses and droppings symbolize the cycle of life. With the mutation of the droppings into golden stones, life is given the meaning of being important.
“I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on. | A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home. | I have wasted my life.” Darkness approaches, and the day is coming to an end. When the chicken hawk floats over, the character realizes how the chicken hawk represents his life. The chicken hawk is looking for a home, meaning possibly that it does not have a home, but may be looking for one. He realizes that he has gotten nowhere in his life yet, that he is still floating. The end of the day is another day to him with no feeling of accomplishment. In the last line, the character feels that he has wasted his life. Change is wanted by the character, and if he could alter his life, he would do so. The tie in to life in this poem shows how this person has gotten nowhere, but the desire to change his life gives him the realization of how important life is.