What exists wants to persist.
Even the knock of bamboo on bamboo
spilled outward continues.
And you who have lived — restless, ambitious, aggrieved.
A Walter, a Shirley, a Tim.
A Carlos, a Teisha, a Haavo.
Do not think it unchanged, this world you are leaving.

Jane Hirshfield’s ninth poetry collection, Ledger, a book centered on the environmental crisis and issues of social justice, will appear from Knopf in March 2020. Named by The Washington Post as “among the modern masters,” in 2017 Hirshfield founded Poets For Science. She is also the author of two now-classic books of essays, Nine Gates and Ten Windows, and the editor/co-translator of four books presenting world poets from the deep past. Her most recent book of poetry is The Beauty, long-listed for the 2015 National Book Award. A former chancellor of The Academy of American Poets, Hirshfield was elected this year to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.