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.

On Angels by Czeslaw Milosz

All was taken away from you: white dresses, 
wings, even existence. 
Yet I believe you, 
messengers. 

There, where the world is turned inside out, 
a heavy fabric embroidered with stars and beasts, 
you stroll, inspecting the trustworthy seams. 

Short is your stay here: 
now and then at a matinal hour, if the sky is clear, 
in a melody repeated by a bird, 
or in the smell of apples at close of day 
when the light makes the orchards magic. 

They say somebody has invented you 
but to me this does not sound convincing 
for the humans invented themselves as well. 

The voice— no doubt it is a valid proof, 
as it can belong only to radiant creatures, 
weightless and winged (after all, why not?), 
girdled with the lightening. 

I have heard that voice many a time when asleep 
and, what is strange, I understood more or less 
an order or an appeal in an unearthly tongue: 

day draw near 
another one 
do what you can. 

~ from New and Collected Poems 1931-2001 (Ecco HarperCollins 1988)


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