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.

Earth by Margaret Atwood

It isn’t winter that brings it 
out, my cowardice,
but the thickening summer I wallow in
right now, stinking of lilacs, green 
with worms & stamens duplicating themselves 
each one the same

I squat among rows of seeds and impostors 
and snout my hand into the juicy dirt: 
charred chicken bones, rusted nails, 
dogbones, stones, stove ashes.
Down there is another hand, yours, hopeless,  
down there is a future
in which you’re a white white picture
with a name I forgot to write 
underneath, and no date,

in which you’re a suit
hanging with its stubs of sleeves
in a cupboard in a house
in a city I’ve never entered,

a missed beat in space
which nevertheless unrolls itself
as usual.  As usual:
that’s why I don’t want to go on with this.

(I’ll want to make a hole in the earth 
the size of an implosion, a leaf, a dwarf
star, a cave
in time that opens back and back into
absolute darkness and at last
into a small pale moon of light
the size of a hand,
I’ll want to call you out of the grave 
in the form of anything at all)		

~ from Poetry by Canadian Women, edited by Rosemary Sullivan 
(Oxford University Press, 1989)


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