If you've been reading along this week, you know I've been in A Mood.
And whenever I'm in A Mood -- any kind of mood, really -- I can always find poetry that mirrors the way I feel; that gives me the words I need at the moment. I've been reading poetry for a long time . . . long enough to know which poets might best suit my current mood. This week? I grabbed Jane Hirshfield off my shelf. I opened the book at random (which is how I read poetry) and immediately found a few poems that were perfect for me for now.
I'm going to share one of my favorite Jane Hirshfield poems today. I know I've shared it before (it's been a long time, though), so forgive me for the repeat. It just seems particularly relevant.
Balance is noticed most when almost failed of --
in an elephant's delicate wavering
on her circus stool, for instance,
or that moment
when a ladder starts to tip but steadies back.
There are, too, its mysterious departures.
Hours after the dishes are washed and stacked,
a metal bowl clangs to the floor,
the weight of drying water all that altered;
a painting vertical for years
one morning - why? - requires a restoring tap.
You have felt it disappearing
from your own capricious heart --
a restlessness enters, the smallest leaning begins.
Already then inevitable,
the full collision,
the life you will describe afterward always as 'after.'
My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.)
Today's poem was published in Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems, by Jane Hirshfield , 2016, Bloodaxe Books. Information about the poet can be found here.