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.

Wade In The Water by Tracy K. Smith

One of the women greeted me. 
I love you, she said. She didn’t 
Know me, but I believed her,
And a terrible new ache 
Rolled over in my chest, 
Like in a room where the drapes 
Have been swept back. I love you, 
I love you, as she continued 
Down the hall past other strangers,
Each feeling pierced suddenly 
By pillars of heavy light.
I love you, throughout
The performance, in every 
Handclap, every stomp.
I love you in the rusted iron
Chains someone was made
To drag until love let them be
Unclasped and left empty
In the center of the ring. 
I love you in the water
Where they pretended to wade,
Singing that old blood-deep song 
That dragged us to those banks
And cast us in. I love you, 
The angles of it scraping at
Each throat, shouldering past 
The swirling dust motes
In those beams of light
That whatever we now knew
We could let ourselves feel, knew
To climb. O Woods—O Dogs—
O Tree—O Gun—O Girl, run—
O Miraculous Many Gone—
O Lord—O Lord—O Lord—
Is this love the trouble you promised? 

~from The New Yorker, June 5 &12, 2017 issue (book “Wade 
in the Water” to be published in 2018


website contents © copyright 2017 by Sharon Singer
with the exception of 'poems of the week' where © copyright remains with the poets or their publishers