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.

Farewell Advice To Disciples by Ly Ngoc Kieu

Birth, old age,
Sickness, and death:
From the beginning,
This is the way
Things have always been.
Any thought
Of release from this life
Will wrap you only more tightly
In its snares.
The sleeping person
Looks for a Buddha,
The troubled person
Turns toward meditation.
But the one who knows
That there'’s nothing to seek
Knows too that there's nothing to say.
She keeps her mouth closed.

(Ly Ngoc Kieu is Vietnam's earliest known woman writer)

 ~ translated by Thich Nhat Hanh and Jane Hirshfield, from Women in Praise of the Sacred, edited by Jane Hirshfield (HarperCollins, 1994)


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