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.

Water by Robert Lowell

It was a Maine lobster town—
 each morning boatloads of hands
 pushed off for granite
 quarries on the islands,

 and left dozens of bleak 
 white frame houses stuck
 like oyster shells
 on a hill of rock,

 and below us, the sea lapped
 the raw little match-stick
 mazes of a weir,
 where the fish for bait were trapped.

 Remember? We sat on a slab of rock.
 From this distance in time
 it seems the color
 of iris, rotting and turning purpler,

 but it was only 
 the usual gray rock
 turning the usual green
 when drenched by the sea.

 The sea drenched the rock
 at our feet all day,
 and kept tearing away
 flake after flake.

 One night you dreamed
 you were a mermaid clinging to a wharf-pile,
 and trying to pull
 off the barnacles with your hands.

 We wished our two souls
 might return like gulls
 to the rock. In the end,
 the water was too cold for us. 

~ from Selected Poems. © Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1976.

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