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.

Writing by Howard Nemerov

 The cursive crawl, the squared-off characters
 these by themselves delight, even without
 a meaning, in a foreign language, in 
 Chinese, for instance, or when skaters curve
 all day across the lake, scoring their white
 records on ice. Being intelligible, 
 these winding ways with their audacities
 and delicate hesitations, they become
 miraculous, so intimately, out there
 at the pen's point or brush's tip, do world
 and spirit wed. The small bones of the wrist
 balance against great skeletons of stars
 exactly; the blind bat surveys his way
 by echo alone. Still, the point of style
 is character. The universe induces
 a different tremor in every hand, from the 
 check-forger's to that of the Emperor
 Hui Tsung, who called his own calligraphy
 the 'Slender Gold.' A nervous man
 writes nervously of a nervous world, and so on.

 Miraculous.  It is as though the world
 were a great writing. Having said so much,
 let us allow there is more to the world
 than writing: continental faults are not
 bare convoluted fissures in the brain.
 Not only must the skaters soon go home;  
 also the hard inscription of their skates
 is scored across the open water, which long
 remembers nothing, neither wind nor wake. 

~ from The Collected Poems of Howard Nemerov
University of Chicago Press, 1981


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