Posted by Joe on .
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota?
What is the significance of this poem? What does the author mean by the last line?
I don't understand what this poem is about and any help would be greatly appreciated!
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.
I interpret this poem on its surface -- as descriptive of a bucolic scene. However, as these sites point out, that's only one way to interpret this poem. Read them, especially the first site.
(Broken Link Removed)
Here are more sites with interpretations that you might like to study:
The wonder of poetry is that there can be so many interpretations, depending upon the reader's experiences.
Have you ever spent time lying in a hammock? One interpretation is that the poet wasted his life by not doing something more productive. But, I choose to interpret it that he wasted his life by not doing MORE of that.
Just look at the colors, sounds you can imagine. The beauty of a butterfly at rest, the sound of a hawk floating, but always looking for prey.
The title seems very long for this poem, but since I've been where he was (although not on that farm), I can still see the countryside.
You need to FEEL a poem and that is easier if you actually read it out loud, imagining each line. A poem has to tell an entire story but in very few lines, and that is much more difficult to do than prose!