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 Poet’s Place by Yannis Ritsos

The black, carved writing desk, the two silver candlesticks, 
his red pipe.  He sits, unseen almost, in the armchair,
keeping the window always at his back.  From behind his
enormous, cautious spectacles he observes his guest
bathed in light; himself hidden among his words,
in history, in his personal masks, distanced, invulnerable
snaring people’s attention with the subtle reflections
of a sapphire which he wears on his finger, and always eagerly
savoring their expressions, at the moment when the simple boys 
moisten their lips with their tongues in amazement.  And he,
crafty, voracious, sensual, the supreme innocent,
between Yes and No, desire and repentance,
completely poised, like a balance in the hand of God,
while the light from the window behind his head
sets on him a crown of forgiveness and sanctity.
“If poetry is not absolution”—he whispered to himself—
“then we can expect pity from nowhere else.”

~ from Another Republic, edited by Charles Simic and Mark Strand
(Ecco, HarperCollins, 2008)

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