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.

Jasmine by Kyongjoo Hong Ryou

Saturday evening grows
darker as the teapot
whistles. I get a mug,
humming, and breathe
the ancient scent,
faintly familiar.

Every summer we
gathered the young
jasmine leaves, while I sang
songs that I learned in school.
On sunny days, she spread
the leaves out in the back
yard where I sat and dreamt
the scent of long winter
nights beside the hot stove.
Immense warmth calms my throat

as I hear
what’s not there anymore.
Mama’s dead: someone else
is picking the leaves,
drinking my tea
in nights of winter.

~ translated by May Jayyusi and Naomi Shihab Nye, from 
This Same Sky, A Collection of Poems from around the World,
selected by Naomi Shihab Nye


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