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.

And Yet The Books by Czeslaw Milosz

And yet the books will be there on the shelves, separate beings, 
That appeared once, still wet 
As shining chestnuts under a tree in autumn, 
And, touched, coddled, began to live 
In spite of fires on the horizon, castles blown up, 
Tribes on the march, planets in motion. 
“We are, ” they said, even as their pages 
Were being torn out, or a buzzing flame 
Licked away their letters. So much more durable
Than we are, whose frail warmth 
Cools down with memory, disperses, perishes.
I imagine the earth when I am no more: 
Nothing happens, no loss, it’s still a strange pageant, 
Women’s dresses, dewy lilacs, a song in the valley. 
Yet the books will be there on the shelves, well born, 
Derived from people, but also from radiance, heights.

(Berkeley 1986)

~ from Selected Poems 1931-2004 (HarperCollins, 2006)


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