by Jane Hirshfield

A chair in snow
should be
like any other object whited
& rounded
and yet a chair in snow is always sad
more than a bed
more than a hat or house
a chair is shaped for just one thing
to hold
a soul its quick and few bendable
perhaps a king
not to hold snow
not to hold flowers

PHOTO: “Winter of One” by Adri Turner


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jane Hirshfield is the author of several collections of verse, including Come, Thief (2011), After (2006), shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot prize, and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001), a finalist for the National Book Critics Award, among others. Hirshfield has also translated the work of early women poets in collections such as The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan (1990) and Women in Praise of the Sacred: Forty-Three Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by Women (1994).