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.

Disappointment by Tony Hoagland

I was feeling pretty religious 
standing on the bridge in my winter coat 
looking down at the gray water: 
the sharp little waves dusted with snow 
a chunk of ice nosed by a fish. 
 
That's what I like about disappointment: 
the way it slows you down, 
when the querulous insistent chatter of desire 
   goes dead calm 
 
and the minor roadside flowers 
pronounce their quiet colors 
and the red dirt of the hillside glows. 
 
She played the flute, he played the fiddle 
and the moon came up over the barn. 
Then he didn’t get the job, -
or her father died before she told him
   that one, most important thing –

and everything got still.

It was February or October
It was July
I remember it so clear
You don’t have to pursue anything ever again
It’s over
You’re free
You’re unemployed

You just have to stand there
looking out on the water
in your trench coat of solitude
with your scarf of resignation
   lifting in the wind.

~ from What Narcissim Means To Me (Graywolf Press, 2003)


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