Friday, April 10, 2009

Poetry Friday (and Quote of the Day): Jane Hirshfield

A quote . . .
"It's a personal act which reaches outward to everyone because we're not alone. We live in a huge net and web of being, human and non-human and we have obligations towards it but the only way to fulfill them is by doing it from the inside. Not from the head, not from what we're told to do, but to discover for ourselves what needs doing and then start doing it."  ---Jane Hirshfield, as interviewed on Speaking Freely

and a poem . . .

A Hand
by Jane Hirshfield

A hand is not four fingers and a thumb. Nor is it palm and knuckles, not ligaments or the fat's yellow pillow, not tendons, star of the wristbone, meander of veins. A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines with their infinite dramas, nor what it has written, not on the page, not on the ecstatic body. Nor is the hand 

Poetry Friday is hosted today at Carol's Corner.
This post is part of my Poetry Quote a Day series for National Poetry Month.


  1. The last line: "Unanswerable, humming like bees, it rises, swarms, departs." reminds me of the Julie Larios' poem about bees and poetry.
    Thank you for sharing.

  2. A hand's favorite job is when it clutches another.

    Thanks for the poem!

  3. I love both quote and poem! Gorgeous. The quote really resonated, though--I spent quite a bit of time today thinking (and blogging) roughly about the idea of how to figure out what needs doing, and how to do it, just from a personal perspective. Thanks for this!

  4. Beautiful. Jama needs to see that, too.

    I told that room full of librarians today how stellar your own poetry is.


  5. The poem is lovely but I really like the first line from the quote.

    "It's a personal act which reaches outward to everyone because we're not alone."

    So true.

  6. THAT is positively lovely...


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