Against Certainty (by Jane Hirshfield)
There is something out in the dark that wants to correct us.
Each time I think “this,” it answers “that.”
Answers hard, in the heart-grammar’s strictness.
If I then say “that,” it too is taken away.
Between certainty and the real, an ancient enmity.
When the cat waits in the path-hedge,
no cell of her body is not waiting.
This is how she is able so completely to disappear.
I would like to enter the silence portion as she does.
To live amid the great vanishing as a cat must live,
one shadow fully at ease inside another.
2 Replies to “Against Certainty…”
Hello, dear Sandie, I was searching for the recording of Stanley Kunitz reading Jane Hirshfield’s poem “Against Uncertainty” and I stumbled upon your site and the above post. Because Stanley Kunitz read Jane Hirshfield’s poem, the poem may now be mistakenly known as his – but I wanted to let you know that it is indeed Jane’s. Would you mind crediting Jane Hirshfield with this gorgeous poem. Thank you. xo With love, Julia
Hello Julia, thank you for the correction – I have amended the post and credited Jane for the poem!