It Just Came Up in Class, #2

A student observed that the speaker in James Wright’s poem “Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota” is experiencing a human need for meaning (i.e., what does it mean to “waste” one’s life) that the butterfly and the (implied) cows do not experience.  The last line, “I have wasted my life,” makes us ask whether that’s an expression of regret or satisfaction; it also reminds us that such contemplation is part of the human condition.

Also unconscious of whether life is, or can be, “wasted” is the chicken wearing pants.

Shana tova–a sweet and peaceful New Year–to you.


This entry was posted in it just came up in class, teaching. Bookmark the permalink.