Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Edward Hirsch: "I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic"

Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater
and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall.

The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field,
each a station in a pilgrimage—silent, pondering.

Blue flakes of light falling across their bodies
are the ciphers of a secret, an occultation.

I will examine their leaves as pages in a text
and consider the bookish pigeons, students of winter.

I will kneel on the track of a vanquished squirrel
and stare into a blank pond for the figure of Sophia.

I shall begin scouring the sky for signs
as if my whole future were constellated upon it.

I will walk home alone with the deep alone,
a disciple of shadows, in praise of the mysteries.

"I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic" by Edward Hirsch. Text reprinted with permission from Lay Back the Darkness (Knopf, 2003), © Edward Hirsch.

Art credit: "The Wingprint," photograph of a strike mark in the snow, presumably taken by  The attacker was likely a Great Horned Owl or Northern Hawk Owl, preying on a "vanquished squirrel." Photograph slightly altered digitally by curator.

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