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.

Poem for my Birthday by Lisel Mueller

I have stopped being the heroine	
of my bad dreams.  The melodramas		
of betrayal and narrow escapes
from which I wake up grateful
for an unexciting life
are starring my troubled young friend
or one of my daughters.  I’m not the one
who swims too far out to sea;
I am the one who waves from shore		
vainly and in despair.
Life is what happens to someone else;
I stand on the sidelines and wring my hands.
Strange that my dreams should have accepted	
the minor role I’ve been cast in
by stories since stories began.
Does that mean I have solved my life?
I’m still afraid in my dreams, but not for myself.
Fear gets rededicated	
with a new stone that bears a needier name.

~ from Alive Together  (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)


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