Saturday, August 3, 2013

Jane Hirshfield: "The Task"

It is a simple garment, this slipped-on world.
We wake into it daily⎯⎯open eyes, braid hair⎯⎯
a robe unfurled
in rose-silk flowering, then laid bare.

And yes, it is a simple enough task
we've taken on,
though also vast:
from dusk to dawn,

from dawn to dusk, to praise, and not
be blinded by the praising.
To lie like a cat in hot
sun, fur fully blazing,

and dream the mouse;
and to keep too the mouse's patient, waking watch
within the deep rooms of the house,
where the leaf-flocked

sunlight never reaches, but the earth still blooms.

"The Task" by Jane Hirshfield, from The October Palace. © Harper Perennial, 1994.

Photography credit: Unknown (originally color).


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