Knowing Nothing

Knowing Nothing

Knowing Nothing

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A weekly poem, read by the author.
April 17 1997 3:30 AM

Knowing Nothing

Knowing Nothing

To hear the poet read "Knowing Nothing," click here.

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Love is not the reason.
Love is the lure,
the thin goat staked out in the clearing.

The lion has stalked
the village for a long time.
It does not want the goat,
who stands thin and bleating,
tied to its bit of wood.

The goat is not the reason.
The reason is the lion,
whose one desire is to enter--
Not the goat, which is
only the lure, only excuse,
but the one burning life
it has hunted for a long time
disguised as hunger. Disguised as love.
Which is not the reason.

Or would you think
that the bones of a lion reason?
Would you think that the tongue?
The lion does not want the goat,
it wants only to live. Alone if it must.
In pain if it must. Knowing nothing.
Like the goat, it wants only to live.
Like love. Or would you think that the heart?

Jane Hirshfield's most recent book is The October Palace.