“Ripeness” by Jane Hirshfield

Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.

To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
with ease,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.

And however sharply
you are tested —
this sorrow, that great love —
it too will leave on that clean knife.

Jane Hirshfield from The October Palace (Harper Perennial).

One thought on ““Ripeness” by Jane Hirshfield

  1. Brian Dean Powers

    That’s some brutal truth-telling.

    “Men must endure / Their going hence, even as their coming hither; / Ripeness is all.” — King Lear, Act V Scene II.

    Liked by 2 people

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