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, 
fish in their tin armor. 

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 Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf Press, 2006)


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