Well, it's his birthday, though he passed away in 1980. His poetry has been one of my core influences as a writer and a person. And though this poem is often considered one of his greatest--and it is one of my favorites--I don't think it's one of his best as a poem. However, it is one of his best on the level of blowing your mind and making you see yourself through everything else so you can see yourself deeper and truer--and this is what a deep imagist poet, and what a good writer, is all about.
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 the 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.