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.

Proof by Ruth Schwartz

Spring comes slow and late in Cleveland, so we learn
to look for
signs: the yellow hard-sheathed head of daffodil
which has been visible for days, but won't unfurl--
and then a loosening, as if one lock had come undone,
a single curl of promise.
We humans, we can't feel Spring coming,
so we sulk and mumble, numbly wait;
but the black-throated sparrows are different,
they've built a nest already in an opened hinge of window,
when I look up I see tail-feathers, sitting and sitting on that wedged-in
pile of sticks, saying faith and faith,

and tonight on my way home, outside a brick apartment building,
suddenly a row of pansies!  Such familiar
speckled faces, openings of purple, freckled gold,
and a man standing besied them, pointing,
and the woman he'd brought there, gazing
at the flowers, saying proof and proof,

and I turned the corner into the sun, that bright
setting sun which blinds us
sometimes, in our failings, in our grace.


~ from edgewater (Perennial, HarperCollins 2002)

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