Each Day I Choose From Among The Steepening Reminders

Each day I choose
from among the steepening reminders

of all I have failed to finish, failed to begin.

I open a right-hand cover and read the last page.

Phrases severe and perfect rise before me,

wrung from every extremity of joy and sleek-limbed loss.

Borges, Sinyavsky, Hadewijch, Sappho, Li Po.

More arrive each week, ink sharp as new hunger.

And these are only the books:

the thing already ambered, capable of waiting, turned to words.

-Jane Hirshfield

note: The poem, Each Day I Choose From Among The Steepening Reminders, is from the book of poems, Given Sugar, Given Salt by Jane Hirshfield