I Live In My Own Mind



I’ve kind of loved this Lyle Lovett song and video for a long time (embedding disabled so you have to click here to see the video).

Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota

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.

– James Wright, from The Branch Will Not Break, 1963

5 Responses to “I Live In My Own Mind”

  1. Amy King Says:
    November 11th, 2006 at 11:02 pm eBy the way, tell me this new Amos Lee song, “Night Train,” isn’t modeled off of Lovett’s song above.
  2. annulla Says:
    November 12th, 2006 at 8:14 pm eGlad I stumbled across your blog today; the song and poem gently lifted the mood of this gray, rainy afternoon. Thanks.
  3. Mr. Horton Says:
    November 13th, 2006 at 8:48 am eNot sure what it is with this poem, but it’s one of the few that are outside of my usual reading aesthetic that I keep coming back to. Even if you break the poem down into separate units, it doesn’t work for me, but as a whole. . . Thanks.
  4. Sam Rasnake Says:
    November 25th, 2006 at 4:53 am eThanks for the Lovett. Especially thanks for Wright’s poem — It’s one of those world-changing poems. Best of the best.
  5. jack brummet Says:
    January 7th, 2007 at 3:01 am eThat whole book was stunning, and this poem is the standout. I know maybe ten or twelve poems by heart. This is one.

Music Poetry

AMY KING View All →

Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She co-edited with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edits the anthology series, Bettering American Poetry, and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.

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