Dear Jane Hirshfield,

I am currently writing to you as part of my English assignment for class. English has never been one of my favorite subjects (because I am more of a math and science person). My teacher aims to make us do these assignments to try to make us fall in love with English, maybe as much as he does. Usually I feel as if I gain nothing from his attempts to make us fall in love, but now I am grateful that he gave out the assignment. I have absolutely fallen in love with your poem, and it could not have touched me at a better time. I am currently a high school junior, very worried about college & the stress is just sucking the life out of me. Your line of “few grains of happiness measured against all the dark” explains it all. Although things are hard for me right now, I hope the “scales” will eventually “balance.”

Your poem gives me the message that no matter how difficult a situation is, with our strength, we are able to endure it. I hope that I will make it through these difficul times. I thank you immensely for you poem. It has given me some hope that things will all work out in the end.


Grade 11
St. James, NY

dear poet letters