The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

Nothing more strong
than to be helpless before desire.

No reason,
the simplified heart whispers,
the argument over,
only This.

No longer choosing anything but assent.

Its bowl scraped clean to the bottom,
the skull-bone cup no longer horrifies,
but, rimmed-in-silver, shines.

A spotted dog follows a bitch in heat.
Gray geese fly past us, crying.
The living cannot help but love the world.


from Each Happiness Ringed by Lions (Bloodaxe, 2005), © Jane Hirshfield 2005, used by permission of the author and Bloodaxe Books.

Recordings

Jane Hirshfield

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1For What Binds Us

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2The Poet

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3Tree

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4Happiness

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5Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight

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6In Praise of Coldness

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7Burlap Sack

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8Mule Heart

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9Changing Everything

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10Narrowness

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11A Thought

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12Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World

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13The Silence

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14Rebus

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15Poem with Two Endings

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16Identity

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17Milk

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18To Opinion

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19To Judgment: An Assay

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20Possibility: An Assay

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21Da Capo

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22Spell To Be Said Upon Departure

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23Empedocles' Physics

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24Percolation

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25Habit

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26The Envoy

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27The Weighing

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28Ripeness

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29Critique of Pure Reason

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30The Heat of Autumn

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31Hope and Love

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32The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

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33Optimism

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34The Bearded Woman

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35Three Times My Life has Opened

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36When Your Life Looks Back

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37On Reading Brecht

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38Manners / Rwanda

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39Late Prayer

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40The Dead Do Not Want Us Dead

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41Theology

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42Red Berries

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43Vinegar and Oil

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44A Cedary Fragrance

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45Pompeii

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46Stone and Knife

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47Opening the Hands Between Here and Here

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48Vilnius

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49After Long Silence

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50Pillow

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51Each Happiness Ringed By Lions

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52In A Room with Five People, Six Griefs

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53Salt Heart

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54The Bell Zygmunt

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55It Was Like This: You Were Happy

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Books by Jane Hirshfield