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Saturday, September 16, 2017

That experience of 'feeling human'

“My job as a human being as well as a writer is to feel as thoroughly as possible the experience that I am part of, and then press it a little further.” – Jane Hirshfield

Poet, essayist, and translator Hirshfield is a native of New York City and one of the first class of women to graduate from Princeton University in 1973.  
                Her 9 books of poetry (to date) have received numerous awards, including her fifth, Given Sugar, Given Salt, named as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and her sixth, After, shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize (UK) and named a 'best book of 2006 by the Washington Post.   Hirshfield’s poetry has often been described as sensuous, insightful, and clear.
For Saturday’s Poem, here is Hirshfield’s

The Heat of Autumn

The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.
One is a dock you walk out on,
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That's autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,
gold buckles with gold, setting each
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,
and calling it pleasure.

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