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.

It Was Like This: You Were Happy by Jane Hirshfield

It was like this:
you were happy, then you were sad,
then happy again, then not.

It went on. You were innocent or you were guilty. Actions were taken, or not.
At times you spoke, at other times you were silent. Mostly, it seems you were silent — what could you say?
Now it is almost over.
Like a lover, your life bends down and kisses your life.
It does this not in forgiveness – between you, there is nothing to forgive – but with the simple nod of a baker at the moment he sees the bread is finished with transformation.
Eating, too, is now a thing only for others.
It doesn’t matter what they will make of you or your days: they will be wrong, they will miss the wrong woman, miss the wrong man, all the stories they tell will be tales of their own invention.
Your story was this: you were happy, then you were sad, you slept, you awakened. Sometimes you ate roasted chestnuts, sometimes persimmons. ~ from After (HarperCollins, 2006)


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