by James Wright, a poetry assignment – response due by Wednesday

The First Days
Optima dies prima fugit

The first thing I saw in the morning
was a huge golden bee ploughing
his burly right shoulder into the belly
of a sleek yellow pear
low on a bough.
Before he could find that sudden black honey
that squirms around in there
inside the seed, the tree could not bear any more.
The pear fell to the ground,
with the bee still half alive
inside its body.
He would have died if I hadn’t knelt down
and sliced the pear gently
a little more open.
The bee shuttered, and returned.
Maybe I should have left him alone there,
drowning in his delight.
The best days are the first
to flee, sang the lovely
musician born in this town
so like my own.
I let the bee go
among the gasworks at the edge of Mantua.


Lovely, huh?

About me


Joy Hui Lin
Reply April 21, 2008

lovely! tell james it's some heady stuff!

Reply April 21, 2008

Can't. This isn't the James we know. It's the James that daddied Franz -- long gone save for a nice body of Complete Works.

Reply April 21, 2008

I have always loved your taste in poetry... This is no exception.

Craig & Cindy
Reply April 22, 2008

Beautiful poem!


Craig & Cindy
Reply April 22, 2008

Beautiful poem!


Joy Hui Lin
Reply April 25, 2008

heehee! no wonder other james signs his poems differently!

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