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Poetry Friday: A Well Runs Out of Thirst by Jane Hirshfield

December 15th, 2017 (06:00 am)
grateful

Current Mood: grateful
Current Song: Magnificent (She Says) by Elbow

A well runs out of thirst
the way time runs out of a week,
the way a country runs out of its alphabet
or a tree runs out of its height.
The way a brown pelican
runs out of anchovy-glitter at darkfall.

A strange collusion,
the way a year runs out of its days
but turns into another,
the way a cotton towel's compact
with pot and plate seems to run out of dryness
but in a few minutes finds more.

A person comes into the kitchen
to dry the hands, the face,
to stand on the lip of a question.

Around the face, the hands,
behind the shoulders,
yeasts, mountains, mosses multiply answers.

There are questions that never run out of questions,
answers that don't exhaust answer.

Take this question the person stands asking:
a gate rusting open.
Yes stands on its left, no on its right,
two big planets of unpainted silence.

- A Well Runs Out of Thirst by Jane Hirshfield

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Comments

Posted by: B.j. Lee (B.j. Lee)
Posted at: December 15th, 2017 05:51 pm (UTC)

Love this poem by Jane Hirshfield!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 15th, 2017 06:16 pm (UTC)

Me too. I like the fork in the road imagery at the end.

Posted by: dmayr (dmayr)
Posted at: December 15th, 2017 06:14 pm (UTC)

"runs out of anchovy-glitter at darkfall"

Wow, I never would have thought of it as glitter, but yes, it is! This poem is full of surprising images.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 15th, 2017 06:20 pm (UTC)

Indeed!

Posted by: Kay McGriff (kaymcgriff)
Posted at: December 16th, 2017 07:38 pm (UTC)
lovely

I love this poem--so much to make me think and to surprise me!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: December 16th, 2017 09:41 pm (UTC)
Re: lovely

I love that it's so thoughtful and thought-provoking.

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