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.

Forty Years by Mary Oliver

for forty years
the sheets of white paper have
passed under my hands and I have tried
        to improve their peaceful

emptiness putting down
little curls little shafts
of letters words
        little flames leaping

not one page
was less to me than fascinating
discursive full of cadence
	its pale nerves hiding

in the curves of the Qs
behind the soldierly Hs
in the webbed feet of the Ws
        forty years

and again this morning as always
I am stopped as the world comes back
wet and beautiful I am thinking
        that language

is not even a river
is not a tree is not a green field
is not even a black ant traveling
        briskly modestly

from day to day from one 
golden page to another.

~ West Wind (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1997)


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