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.

Under This Sky by Zia Hyder

There’s an enormous comfort knowing
we all live under this same sky,
whether in New York or Dhaka,
we see the same sun and same moon.

When it is night in New York,
the sun shines in Dhaka,
but that doesn’t matter.
Flowers that blossom here in spring
are unknown in meadows of distant Bengal—
that too doesn’t matter.
There’s no rainy season here—
the peasant in Bengal welcomes the new crop
with homemade sweets
while here, winter brings mountains of snow.

No one here knows Grandmother’s hand-sewn quilt—
even that doesn’t matter.
There’s an enormous comfort knowing
we all live under this same sky.

The Hudson River freezes,
automobiles can’t move.
Slowly city workers will remove the snow.
The old lady next door won’t go to work—
it’s too cold.
Maybe my old mother far away
will also enter her kitchen late.
Naked trees in Central Park and Ramna Park
quiver with dreams of new life and love.

Fog hangs on the horizon—
suddenly New York, Broadway, Times Square
look dimly like Dhaka, Buriganga, and Laxmi Bazaar.

 (translated by Bhabani Sengupta with Naomi Shihab Nye)
  
~ from This Same Sky: A Collection of Poems from around the World   
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, (Aladdin, 1992)


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