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.

A Dream of Paradise in the Shadow of War by Muneer Niazi

Sometimes
In the tangled boughs
Of the jasmine tree
And sometimes
On the green emerald floor
A nightingale sings
The poignant melodies
Of love.
From the vast treeless plains
Carried by the evening’s dust-clouds
Come the joyous sounds
Of people returning home.
Mustard fields stretch
Towards the horizon.
Wild roses and green swaying wheat.
The cacophony of birds
On the ancestral tree
In my courtyard.
The houses and their inmates
Stand amazed.
The village-wilderness
Turns into a perfumed garden.

(translated by Daud Kamal)
~from This Same Sky, Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye 
(Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996)


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