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 World by Marie Howe

I couldn't tell one song from another,
   which bird said what or to whom or for what reason.

The oak tree seemed to be writing something using very few words,
   I couldn't decide which door to open-- they looked the same, or what

would happen when I did reach out and turn a knob.  I thought I was safe,
   standing there
but my death remembered its date:

only so many summer nights still stood before me, ful moon, waning moon,
   October mornings: what to make of them?  which door?

I couldn't tell which stars were which or how far away any one of them was,
   or which were still burning or not--their light moving through space like a long

late train-- and I've lived on this earth so long--50 winters,
   50 springs and summers,
and all this time stars in the sky--in daylight

when I couldn't see them, and at night when, most nights,
   I didn't look.

~ from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (W.W. Norton and Co, 2008)



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