Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Jane Hirshfield

In the book After by Jane Hirshfield, she has some short poems, she calls Seventeen Pebbles.  I give a few.

After Degas

    The woman who will soon
    take a lover shaves her legs in the bath,
    Would knowing or not knowing she does this please him more?

Ecstasy: Czechoslovakia, 1933

The actress was only seventeen,
    and so the director arranged
    to have her pricked lightly with pins
    at the needed moments.

Character and Life

    The young novelist held underwater
    the head of the character in his book he loved best.
    In the book, and as he wrote,
    he counted until he was sure it was finished.


The lake scarlets
    the same instant as the maple.
    Let others try to say this is not passion.


    Its vision sweeps its one path
    like an aged monk raking a garden,
    his question long ago answered or moved on.
    Far off, night-grazing horses,
    breath scented with oat grass and fennel,
    step through it, disappear, step through it, disappear.

Global Warming

When his ship first came to Australia,
    Cook wrote, the natives
    continued fishing, without looking up.
    Unable, it seems, to fear what was too large to be comprehended.

Insomnia, Listening

Three times in one night
    a small animal crosses the length of the ceiling.
    Each time it goes all the way one way,
    all the way back, without hesitation or pause.

    Envy that sureness.

    It is like being cut flowers, between the field and the vase.


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