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 Poet by Jane Hirshfield

She is working now, in a room     
not unlike this one,     
the one where I write, or you read.     
Her table is covered with paper.     
The light of the lamp would be     
tempered by a shade, where the bulb's     
single harshness might dissolve,     
but it is not, she has taken it off.     
Her poems? I will never know them,     
though they are the ones I most need.     
Even the alphabet she writes in     
I cannot decipher. Her chair—     
Let us imagine whether it is leather     
or canvas, vinyl or wicker. Let her     
have a chair, her shadeless lamp,     
the table. Let one or two she loves     
be in the next room. Let the door     
be closed, the sleeping ones healthy.     
Let her have time, and silence,     
enough paper to make mistakes and go on. 

~from The Lives of the Heart. © Harper Perennial, 1997


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