The Heat of Autumn

By Jane Hirshfield b. 1953 Jane Hirshfield
The heat of autumn
is different from the heat of summer.   
One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.   
One is a dock you walk out on,   
the other the spine of a thin swimming horse
and the river each day a full measure colder.   
A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.
Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,   
rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser
by color. That’s autumn heat:
her hand placing silver buckles with silver,   
gold buckles with gold, setting each   
on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,   
and calling it pleasure.   

Jane Hirshfield, "The Heat of Autumn" from After. Copyright © 2006 by Jane Hirshfield.  Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Source: After (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2006)

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Poet Jane Hirshfield b. 1953

Subjects Separation & Divorce, Fall, Living, Nature

 Jane  Hirshfield

Biography

Award-winning poet, essayist, and translator 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 . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Separation & Divorce, Fall, Living, Nature

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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