Dear Poet 2015- Jane Hirshfield

Ms. Hirshfield,

I really enjoyed your poem. I especially liked the way in which you used the scales to show how it does not take very much happiness to blot away the darkness. You, and by extension your work, do an excellent job of painting a very compelling and vivid image for me and many others to whom I have shown the poem. It illustrates life in a way we try not to see it, and for me it is good to know that others have felt that way too. All my life I will remember when my baby sister was in the NICU, and we were all praying, but it looked like our prayers were going unanswered, and we would lose her. On one of the worst days, someone from the March Of Dimes came by and gave us all a little gift bag, something to show us that others cared, and for a little while I felt comforted. The next day she began her recovery, and is now fine.

I did have a few questions for you. In particular, the line in which you state “lion, is fed, and does not remember the other” seems to contradict your theme. I interpreted your message mainly as how even in your darkest times, you can always find some speck of happiness. To a lesser extent, I was also curious how forgiveness played into your poem. The lines make up a compelling story, but I don’t see where it comes in. I feel like each stanza has a somewhat different message, and I am sure that there are other facets which I will uncover later, but for now, that is all. In parting, I want you to know that this poem has an extremely compelling message, and one that I feel like most people can relate to. For me, that makes great poetry, and I must give my thanks to you for sharing it with the world.

Sincerely Yours,

Grade 9
Austin, TX

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