Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rhetoric as Epistemic

Jane Hirshfield's "Against Certainty":

"There is something out in the dark that wants to correct us.
Each time I think "this," it answers "that."
Answers hard, in the heart-grammar's strictness.

If I then say "that," it too is taken away.

Between certainty and the real, an ancient enmity.
When the cat waits in the path-hedge,
no cell of her body is not waiting.
This is how she is able so completely to disappear.

I would like to enter the silence portion as she does.

To live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live,
one shadow fully at ease inside another."

(Jane Hirshfield, "Against Certainty," from After: Poems, 2006).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yet Words Are Not The End of Thought, They Are Where It Begins

Jane Hirshfield's "After Long Silence":

"Politeness fades,

a small anchovy gleam
leaving the upturned pot in the dish rack
after the moon has wandered out of the window.

One of the late fredoms, there in the dark.
The leftover soup put away as well.

Distinctions matter. Whether a goat's
quiet face should be called noble
or indifferent. The difference between a right rigor and pride.

The untranslatable thought must be the most precise.

Yet words are not the end of thought, they are where it begins."

(Jane Hirshfield, After: Poems).