Saturday, December 20, 2014
The Lives of the Heart
"The World loved by Moonlight"
You must try,
the voice said, to become colder.
I understood at once.
It is like the body of gods: cast in bronze,
braced in stone. Only something heartless
could bear the full weight.
This is a good time of the year to read “The Lives of the Heart”. Grounded in nature and the everyday, Jane Hirshfield’s poetry collection evokes the interconnection—or disconnection -- between inner and outer worlds, nostalgia, life, grief.
Some of the metaphors are like drawings that unfold stories. Others tap into the energy of experiences and emotions.
I found a delicious recipe in one of the poems. Even if you don’t like this poem (it's a fragment of it), you may be willing to try the recipe. I did!
Returning home, slice carrots, onions, celery.
Glaze them in oil before adding
the lentils, water and herbs.
Then the roasted chestnuts, a little pepper, the salt.
Finish with goat cheese and parsley. Eat.
You may do this, I tell you, it is permitted.
Begin again the story of your life.
Matter and Spirit
A shadow empties itself into a river.
No one sees.
But the cloth for washing the bodies of the dead
Softens, gentles a little.
Neither the cloth nor the body feels this.
Yet it matters. Someone else, you see, is there
in the blunt and the blind of grace—
Someone stands silent,
listening, the looped cotton held in her hand.