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.

Writer and Reader by Denise Levertov

When a poem has come to me, 
almost complete as it makes its way
into daylight, out through arm, hand, pen,
onto page; or needing
draft after draft, the increments 
of change toward itself, what’s missing
brought to it, grafted
into it, trammels of excess
peeled away till it can breath
and leave me—

then I feel awe at being
chosen for the task
again; and delight, and the strange and familiar
sense of destiny.

But when I read or hear
a perfect poem, brought into being
by someone else, someone perhaps 
I’ve never heard of before—a poem 
bringing me pristine visions music
beyond what I thought I could hear,
a stirring, a leaping
of new anguish, of new hope, a poem 
trembling with its own vital power— then I’m caught up beyond that isolate awe, that narrow delight, into what singers must feel in a great choir, each with humility and zest partaking of harmonies they combine to make, waves and ripples of music’s ocean, who hush to listen when the aria arches above them in halcyon stillness.
~ from Sands of The Well (New Directions, 1996)


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