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.

The Lilacs by Richard Wilbur

Those laden lilacs
                          at the lawn’s end
Came stark, spindly,
                     	   and in staggered file,
Like walking wounded
                             from the dead of winter.
We watched them waken
                     	       in the brusque weather
To rot and rootbreak,
                     	  to ripped branches,
And I saw them shiver
                    	   as the memory swept them
Of night and numbness
                    	       and the taste of nothing.
Out of present pain
                       	   and from past terror
Their bullet-shaped buds
                    		came quick and bursting,
As if they aimed
                       to be open with us!
But the sun suddenly
                    	    settled about them,
And green and grateful
                        	 the lilacs grew,
Healed in that hush,
                    	       that hospital quiet.
These lacquered leaves
                    		 where the light paddles
And the big blooms
                    	      buzzing among them
Have kept their counsel,
                      	          conveying nothing
Of their mortal message,
                   		   unless one should measure
The depth and dumbness
                   		   of death’s kingdom
By the pure power
                   	     of this perfume.

~ from The Art of Losing edited by Kevin Young
   (Bloomsbury USA, 2010)


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