Saturday, August 29, 2015

the reason for going



Each of the tragedies can be read
as the tale of a single ripening self,
every character part of one soul.
The comedies can be included in this as well.
Often the flaw is a flaw of self-knowledge;
sometimes greed.  For this reason the comic glint
of a school of herring leads to no plot line,
we cannot imagine a tragedy of donkeys or bees.

Before the ordinary realities, ordinary failures:
hunger, coldness, anger, longing, heat.
 Yet one day, a thought as small as a vetch
flower opens.

After, no longer minding the minor and almost
wordless role, playing the messenger given
the letter everyone knows will arrive too
late or ruined by water.

To have stopped by the fig and eaten was
not an error, then, but the reason for going.

–Jane Hirshfield


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