Many thanks to acclaimed poet Jane Hirshfield for allowing this poem to be reproduced in honour of National Poetry Month. Some poems strike a resounding note with the reader, as this one did for me.
Jane is the author of eight collections of poetry, including, most recently, The Beauty (longlisted for the National Book Award ); Come, Thief; After (shortlisted for England’s T.S. Eliot Prize and named a “best book of 2006” by the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the London Financial Times); Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award); The Lives of the Heart; and The October Palace, as well as two books of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World (Knopf, 2015), which was awarded the Northern California Book Award for Creative Nonfiction, and the now-classic Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. She has also edited and co-translated four books containing the work of poets from the past: The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi & Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Japanese Court; Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women; Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems; and The Heart of Haiku, on Matsuo Basho, named an Amazon Best Book of 2011. This poem was previously published by terrain.org