Friday, June 13, 2008

The Blessing by James Wright

This week's poem is a quiet but ecstatic encounter with nature. I love the ending. Wright often steps away with a beautiful bang.


The Blessing

Just off the highway to Rochester, Minnesota,
Twilight bounds softly forth on the grass.
And the eyes of those two Indian ponies
Darken with kindness.
They have come gladly out of the willows
To welcome my friend and me.
We step over the barbed wire into the pasture
Where they have been grazing all day, alone.
They ripple tensely, they can hardly contain their happiness
That we have come.
They bow shyly as wet swans. They love each other.
There is no loneliness like theirs.
At home once more,
They begin munching the young tufts of spring in the darkness.
I would like to hold the slenderer one in my arms,
For she has walked over to me
And nuzzled my left hand.
She is black and white,
Her mane falls wild on her forehead,
And the light breeze moves me to caress her long ear
That is delicate as the skin over a girl's wrist.
Suddenly I realize
That if I stepped out of my body I would break
Into blossom.



James Wright was born in Martins Ferry, Ohio, on December 13, 1927. His father worked for fifty years at a glass factory, and his mother left school at fourteen to work in a laundry; neither attended school beyond the eighth grade. In 1972, his Collected Poems received the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He died in New York City in 1980.

14 Comments:

Blogger Maggie May said...

oh so very beautiful!

'like wet swans'

6:36 PM  
Blogger Scheyenne Zigzag said...

horses are nice

5:26 AM  
Blogger Helenmarie said...

Thank you for posting this poem. Had not read it before. One of my favorites (similar subject) is Source by Mark Doty.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Benjamin Vogt said...

I hope you've read his The Branch Will Not Break; it's one of the most moving books of poems published. Period. He is incredible.

3:03 PM  
Blogger zenya said...

It's incredibly beautiful and simple.

11:21 AM  
Blogger Chandini said...

Wish you would put up Pablo Neruda next time.
Allow me to trace two of his most famous lines here:

'I want to do with you
What the spring does with cherry trees'

My blog is also about poetry, about painting and prose as well.
http://chandinisantosh.blogspot.com

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Blogger Megan Coyle said...

The ending of this is quite beautiful. I also love how he compares the ponies to swans. It's beautiful.

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