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.

Unpainted Door by Louise Gl├╝ck

Finally, in middle age,
I was tempted to return to childhood.

The house was the same, but
the door was different.
Not red anymore— unpainted wood.
The trees were the same: the oak, the copper beech.
But the people— all the inhabitants of the past—
were gone: lost, dead, moved away.
The children from across the street
old men and women.

The sun was the same, the lawns
parched brown in summer.
But the present was full of strangers.

And in some way it was all exactly right,
exactly as I remembered: the house, the street,
the prosperous village—

Not to be reclaimed or re-entered
but to legitimize
silence and distance,
distance of place, of time,
bewildering accuracy of imagination and dream—

I remember my childhood as a long wish to be elsewhere.
This is the house; this must be
the childhood I had in mind.

~ from The Seven Ages (Ecco, HarperCollins, 2002)


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