Jane Hirshfield

The Heart’s Counting Knows Only One by Jane Hirshfield

The Heart’s Counting Knows Only One by Jane Hirshfield

The Heart’s Counting Knows Only One by Jane Hirshfield In Sung China, two monks friends for sixty years watched the geese pass. Where are they going? one tested the other, who couldn’t say. That moment’s silence continues. No one will study their friendship in the koan-books of ins... »

Ripeness by Jane Hirshfield

Ripeness by Jane Hirshfield

Ripeness by Jane Hirshfield Ripeness is what falls away with ease. Not only the heavy apple, the pear, but also the dried brown strands of autumn iris from their core. To let your body love this world that gave itself to your care in all of its ripeness, with ease, and will take itself from you in e... »

The Task By Jane Hirshfield

The Task By Jane Hirshfield

The Task by Jane Hirshfield It is a simple garment, this slipped-on world. We wake into it daily — open eyes, braid hair — a robe unfurled in rose-silk flowering, then laid bare. And yes, it is a simple enough task we’ve taken on, though also vast: from dusk to dawn, from dawn to d... »

Rebus by Jane Hirshfield

Rebus by Jane Hirshfield

Rebus by Jane Hirshfield You work with what you are given, the red clay of grief, the black clay of stubbornness going on after. Clay that tastes of care or carelessness, clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust. Each thought is a life you have lived or failed to live, each word is a dish y... »

The Envoy by Jane Hirshfield

The Envoy by Jane Hirshfield

The Envoy by Jane Hirshfield One day in that room, a small rat. Two days later, a snake. Who, seeing me enter, whipped the long stripe of his body under the bed, then curled like a docile house-pet. I don’t know how either came or left. Later, the flashlight found nothing. For a year I watched... »

Standing Deer by Jane Hirshfield

Standing Deer by Jane Hirshfield

Standing Deer by Jane Hirshfield As the house of a person in age sometimes grows cluttered with what is too loved or too heavy to part with, the heart may grow cluttered. And still the house will be emptied, and still the heart. As the thoughts of a person in age sometimes grow sparer, like a great ... »

The Lives of the Heart by Jane Hirshfield

The Lives of the Heart by Jane Hirshfield

The Lives of the Heart by Jane Hirshfield Are ligneous, muscular, chemical. Wear birch-colored feathers, green tunnels of horse-tail reed. Wear calcified spirals, Fibonaccian spheres. Are edible; are glassy; are clay; blue schist. Can be burned as tallow, as coal, can be skinned for garnets, for sho... »

The Weighing By Jane Hirshfield

The Weighing By Jane Hirshfield

The Weighing by Jane Hirshfield The heart’s reasons seen clearly, even the hardest will carry its whip-marks and sadness and must be forgiven. As the drought-starved eland forgives the drought-starved lion who finally takes her, enters willingly then the life she cannot refuse, and is lion, is... »

To Hear The Falling World By Jane Hirshfield

To Hear The Falling World By Jane Hirshfield

To Hear the Falling World by Jane Hirshfield Only if I move my arm a certain way, it comes back. Or the way the light bends in the trees this time of year, so a scrap of sorrow, like a bird, lights on the heart. I carry this in my body, seed in an unswept corner, husk-encowled and seeming safe. But ... »

Tree By Jane Hirshfield

Tree By Jane Hirshfield

Tree by Jane Hirshfield It is foolish to let a young redwood grow next to a house. Even in this one lifetime, you will have to choose. That great calm being, this clutter of soup pots and books — Already the first branch-tips brush at the window. Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life. Hi... »

Autumn Quince by Jane Hirshfield

Autumn Quince by Jane Hirshfield

Autumn Quince by Jane Hirshfield How sad they are, the promises we never return to. They stay in our mouths, roughen the tongue, lead lives of their own. Houses built and unwittingly lived in; a succession of milk bottles brought to the door every morning and taken inside. And which one is real? The... »

A Hand by Jane Hirshfield

A Hand by Jane Hirshfield

A Hand by Jane Hirshfield A hand is not four fingers and a thumb. Nor is it palm and knuckles, not ligaments or the fat’s yellow pillow, not tendons, star of the wristbone, meander of veins. A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines with their infinite dramas, nor what it has written, not on... »

Metempsychosis by Jane Hirshfield

Metempsychosis by Jane Hirshfield

Metempsychosis by Jane Hirshfield Some stories last many centuries, others only a moment. All alter over that lifetime like beach-glass, grow distant and more beautiful with salt. Yet even today, to look at a tree and ask the story Who are you? is to be transformed. There is a stage in us where each... »

Why Bodhidharma Went To Howard Johnson’s By Jane Hirshfield

Why Bodhidharma Went To Howard Johnson’s By Jane Hirshfield

Why Bodhidharma Went to Howard Johnson’s by Jane Hirshfield “Where is your home,” the interviewer asked him. Here. “No, no,” the interviewer said, thinking it a problem of translation, “when you are where you actually live.” Now it was his turn to think, per... »