Monday, March 24, 2014

Jane Hirshfield: "The Weighing"

                          The heart's reasons
                          seen clearly,
                          even the hardest
                          will carry
                          its whip-marks and sadness
                          and must be forgiven.

                          As the drought-starved
                          eland forgives
                          the drought-starved lion
                          who finally takes her,
                          enters willingly then
                          the life she cannot refuse,
                          and is lion, is fed,
                          and does not remember the other.

                          So few grains of happiness
                          measured against all the dark
                          and still the scales balance.

                          The world asks of us
                          only the strength we have and we give it.
                          Then it asks more, and we give it.

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

Photography credit: Photo #1 by Rick Brightman of "a lion attacking an eland in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in South Africa," from the Telegraph's "Pictures of the Day, 6 December 2012" (originally color).


  1. I wept reading this poem on twitter. It felt like an apt description of motherhood - full of no regrets. Thanks for posting it here, keeping it here, so I can print it and savour it again and again.

  2. The unknown comment is as moving as the poem...received with gratitude to all


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