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.
An extended haiku. Beautiful, beautiful poem.
Lazy Reader: Admit it. You read too quickly. You were lazy. Weak. How pleasing to think of last year's horses, a bronze butterfly, cowbells in the ravine, How startling, the poem's last line. 'I have wasted my life.' Is that poetry? Sounds like prose, rhetoric, a declarative sentence. Sounds like telling, not showing. Try the poem again. But this time, don't read. Lie in the hammock.
Wonderful, I first heard this on radio bbc 7, an arresting and peaceful poem, read in a voice beautifully in tune with its meaning. In the final line, sudden even abrupt as a self judgement can be when measuring against a perfection in nature, he (as we) are confronted with the tragedy of our existence; an animal which knows it is dying can never match such a perfection. Contrast this with similiar work by Edwin Muir also.
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.I would like to translate this poem
An idyllic rural scene, on a farm. he sees the butterfly, and hears the cowbells. What a superb last line, 'I have wasted my life'.