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Image by Nick Rosza

The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

Jane Hirshfield


The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

Jane Hirshfield


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 Reading from her Poems

1For What Binds Us

2The Poet

3Tree

4Happiness

5Three Foxes by the Edge of the Field at Twilight

6In Praise of Coldness

7Burlap Sack

8Mule Heart

9Changing Everything

10Narrowness

11A Thought

12Each Moment a White Bull Steps Shining into the World

13The Silence

14Rebus

15Poem with Two Endings

16Identity

17Milk

18To Opinion

19To Judgment: An Assay

20Possibility: An Assay

21Da Capo

22Spell To Be Said Upon Departure

23Empedocles' Physics

24Percolation

25Habit

26The Envoy

27The Weighing

28Ripeness

29Critique of Pure Reason

30The Heat of Autumn

31Hope and Love

32The Adamantine Perfection of Desire

33Optimism

34The Bearded Woman

35Three Times My Life has Opened

36When Your Life Looks Back

37On Reading Brecht

38Manners / Rwanda

39Late Prayer

40The Dead Do Not Want Us Dead

41Theology

42Red Berries

43Vinegar and Oil

44A Cedary Fragrance

45Pompeii

46Stone and Knife

47Opening the Hands Between Here and Here

48Vilnius

49After Long Silence

50Pillow

51Each Happiness Ringed By Lions

52In A Room with Five People, Six Griefs

53Salt Heart

54The Bell Zygmunt

55It Was Like This: You Were Happy

Books by Jane Hirshfield