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.

Red Leaves by Al Purdy

—all over the earth   
little fires starting up
especially in Canada
some yellow leaves too
buttercup and dandelion yellow
dancing across the hillside
I say to my wife
“What’s the yellowest thing there is?”
“School buses”
—a thousand school buses are double 
parked on 401 all at once

I suppose this is the one thing 
your average level-headed Martian
or Venusian could not imagine
about Earth:
	red leaves
and the way humans attach emotion 
to one little patch of ground
and continually go back there 
in the autumn of our lives
to deal with some of the questions
that have troubled us
on our leapfrog trip thru the Universe
for which there are really no answers
except at this tranquil season
of falling leaves
watching them a kind of jubilation
sometimes mistaken for sadness

~ from The Woman on the Shore (McClelland and Stewart Inc, 1990)


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