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 Sorrows by Gary Finke

The Sorrows

 Whatever the Sunday, the sorrows kept the women in the kitchen,
 My cousins and their mothers, my grandmother, her sister, 
all of them Foraging through the nerves for pain. They signed and rustled
and one would Name her sorrows to cue sympathy's murmurs, the first offerings Of possible cures: three eggs for chills and fever, the benefits Of mint and pepper, boneset, sage, and crocus tea. Nothing they Needed came over-the-counter through prescriptions not bearing A promise from God, who blessed the home remedies handed down From lost villages of Germany for the aunt with dizzy spells, For the uncle with the steady pain of private swelling; for
passed blood, For discharge and the sweet streak from the shoulder. In the pantry, Among pickled beets and stewed tomatoes, were dark, honeyed liquids, The vinegar and molasses sipped from tablespoons for sorrows So regular they spoke of them as laundry to be smoothed by
the great iron Of faith which sets creases worthy of paradise. And there, when only A hum came clear, they might have been speaking from clouds
like the dead, But what mattered when the room went dark were the voices
reaching into The lamp-lit living room of men who listened then, watching the
doorway And nodding at the nostrums offered by the tongues of the unseen As if the sorrows were soothed by the lost dialect of the soul, Which whispered to the enormous ache of the imminent. ~ from The Fire Landscape: Poems. © University of Arkansas Press, 2008


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