Saturday, April 13, 2013

PAD Day 13

Today's prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) write a "comparison" poem, and (2) take a walk and write about your observations from that walk.  It was a perfect spring evening in our neighborhood, and yes, it happened almost exactly like this:


We start our walk on a nearly-perfect
April  evening - cherry and apple trees
in full regalia, daffodils poking through
the mulch.  A carpenter bee zig-zags
across our path. We stroll the sidewalk,
admiring the lawns, a little greener
than yesterday, and we start to talk
about  our son and college plans -
where will he go, how much will it cost,
is he really ready to live away from home?
Suddenly he jogs past us, not watching
the scenery, but checking his watch
as he turns the corner, hell-bent on shaving
another thirty seconds off his time.

From time to time, I like to feature poems by poetic friends and acquaintances. Today I'm offering a poem by Jane Hirshfield, whom I had the pleasure of meeting and working with about two years ago at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, and with whom I've kept in touch ever since.  If you don't know her poetry, you should - it's sensuous, metaphysical, and full of striking imagery. (She's a wonderful human being, too.)  This is perhaps her "signature" poem, and one of her most beloved:

For What Binds Us
by Jane Hirshfield

There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they've been set down—
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.

And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There's a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,

as all flesh,
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest—

And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.

(From Of Gravity and Angels, ©1988 by Jane Hirshfield, used with permission of the author.)

1 comment:

Kelly Fineman said...

Nice post - both your poem, and the Hirschfield. (*sigh*)