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.

Nature by Mary Oliver

All night	
   in and out the slippery shadows
      the owl hunted,
	the beads of blood

scarcely dry on the hooked beak before
   hunger again seized him
      and he fell, snipping
	the life from some plush breather,

and floated away
   into the crooked branches
      of the trees, that all night
	went on lapping

the sunken rain, and growing,
   bristling life
      spreading through all their branches
	as one by one

they tossed the white moon upward
   on it’s slow way
      to another morning
	in which nothing new

would ever happen,
   which is the true gift of nature,
      which is the reason
	we love it.

Forgive me.
   For hours I had tried to sleep	
      and failed;
	restless and wild,

I could settle on nothing
   and fell, in envy
      of the things of darkness
	following their sleepy course—

the root and branch, the bloodied beak—
   even the screams from the cold leaves
      were as red songs that rose and fell
	in their accustomed place.

~ from New and Selected Poems (Beacon Press, 1993)

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