Really: 5 things I learned FROM today. Share with those you love (or even just kinda like).

POTD - Letter to a Poet by Robert Hass

POTD - Letter to a Poet by Robert Hass

photo by flickr/tcd123usa

photo by flickr/tcd123usa

Letter to a Poet

by Robert Hass

A mockingbird leans
from the walnut, bellies,
riffling white, accomplishes

his perch upon the eaves.
I witnessed this act of grace
in blind California

in the January sun
where families bicycle on Saturday
and the mother with high cheekbones

and coffee-colored iridescent
hair curses her child
in the language of Pushkin–

John, I am dull from
thinking of your pain,
this mimic world

which make us stupid
with the totem griefs
we hope will give us

power to look at trees,
at stones, one brute to another
like poems on a page.

What can I say, my friend?
There are tricks of animal grace,
poems in the mind

we survive on. It isn’t much.
You are 4,000 miles away &
this world did not invite us.

Hass has always been perhaps the poet I reach to first. This poem, in fact, was one I had my students in the Taiwanese Girls High School memorize. A year after that class finished I returned and a lot of the students ran up to me and recited it back to me.

2 - Goose Portraits

3 - Woodchip Animal Sculptures