Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

The Poet Contemplates Her Art by Rishma Dunlop

'But where my moment of Brocade—
~Emily Dickinson

What have I expected poetry to do for me? At midlife, poetry has not yielded a God. Poetry is that unfinished thing, some intangible hope. Persistent practice of courage. It is the waiting for a loved one to return home. It is the young woman I was. It is the hue of my wedding sari, shot silk the color of dawn, brocade border of gold. Not the usual red silk of the Indian bride, some whisper of hope contained there in my rebellion. As the light fades, the mind wanders over books, pen and paper, even as the hour pulls you into exhaustion. What a scrap of paper gives... a grocery list, letters, the 2 a.m. fevered composition, Cicero’s memory palaces, Book of the Dead. Raw faith in the light of another day, in public records, private histories, the poet unfurling poems like Tibetan prayer flags or the prayers the Japanese tie to trees. The air above the city is saturated with poets’ prayers, like the air of industrial towns and dreams, so thick with longing it is hard to breathe. And what resides in the ink but a glimpse of the possible past in memory as you turn off the light, the possible years left to you written, recorded, your hands a reliquary.

~ from Red Silk, An Anthology of South Asian Canadian Women Poets (Mansfield Press, 2004)

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