National Poetry Month, Day 14: Jane Hirshfield

This is from a book I read in college for a wonderful class called “Buddhism in Contemporary Poetry” with Linda Bamber.

This was at Tufts University in 1995. This poem takes me back in all the best ways. Enjoy!
For What Binds Us
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.
? Jane Hirshfield, from Of Gravity & Angels, Wesleyan, 1988

The Slideshow

The Slideshow

It would take a thousand photos to really explain a year of Covid. We had one slideshow. New Year's Eve, 2021. We...

2 Comments

  1. Marsha Durham

    Great poem, connecting a term to different situations, deepening the sense of it.

    Reply

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