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.

All That Is Glorious Around Us by Barbara Crooker

  (title of an exhibit on The Hudson River School)

is not, for me, these grand vistas, sublime peaks, mist-filled overlooks, towering clouds, but doing errands on a day of driving rain, staying dry inside the silver skin of the car, 160,000 miles, still running just fine. Or later, sitting in a café warmed by the steam from white chicken chili, two cups of dark coffee, watching the red and gold leaves race down the street, confetti from autumn's bright parade. And I think of how my mother struggles to breathe, how few good days she has now, how we never think about the glories of breath, oxygen cascading down our throats to the lungs, simple as the journey of water over a rock. It is the nature of stone / to be satisfied / writes Mary Oliver, It is the nature of water / to want to be somewhere else, rushing down a rocky tor or high escarpment, the panoramic landscape boundless behind it. But everything glorious is around us already: black and blue graffiti shining in the rain's bright glaze, the small rainbows of oil on the pavement, where the last car to park has left its mark on the glistening street, this radiant world. ~ from from Radiance (Word Press, 2005)


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