Thursday, September 24, 2009

James Wright: "An Offering for Mr. Bluehart"

That was a place, when I was young,
Where two or three good friends and I
Tested the fruit against the tongue
Or threw the withered windfalls by.
The sparrows, angry in the sky,
Denounced us from a broken bough.
They limp along the wind and die.
The apples all are eaten now.

Behind the orchard, past one hill
The lean satanic owner lay
And threatened us with murder till

We stole his riches all away.
He caught us in the act one day
And damned us to the laughing bone,
And fired his gun across the gray
Autumn where now his life is done.

Sorry for him, or any man
Who lost his labored wealth to thieves,
Today I mourn him, as I can,
By leaving in their golden leaves
Some luscious apples overhead.
Now may my abstinence restore
Peace to the orchard and the dead.
We shall not nag them any more.


  1. This poem was very well written to me because I could picture some little boys sneaking over to a old mans house getting in his garden tasting apples. The old man was trying to make a living because he was retired and now the kids are grown up and feel bad for what they did because they aren't kids anymore. Just thinking about how bad they made that mans life and now he is gone and they wish they had never done it before . I love this poem

  2. I like the line "the lean satanic owner lay". This seems like a perfect line to me because it is how a child would see the old man guarding his apples. He would see him as someone faintly evil for disturbing their "innocent" fun of eating the apples.

  3. Reading the poem, we can see childhood of the author, which were full of silly things. Now when he is old enough to think about it, and he sincerely sorry for what he'd done. The poem uses a polished collection of words.

  4. I like the way the poem is written. I could imagine in my head the boys going and stealing those fruits. It's sad when someone dies, and you are left with the remorse, because then you know that you might have been doing something wrong because it was their property, but we kids then. We don't much better, yet. I didn't like the way the poem ended, with the man dying. But, it happens sometimes and it's real life. This poem made me go back, when I was a kid and I did the same thing with my great-grandfather's oranges and mango's. He too, has past away. In contrast to the poem, all I have of him are memories of when he use to tell us instead of leaving his fruit alone, he use tell me and my cousin to grab even more for the next few days.

  5. this reminds me of me and my cousin when we were younger and getting into everything. Those were the good old days, I liked how well written the poem was and how vivd the story was. I could picture it as I was reading.