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An investigation into incarnation, transience, and our intimate connection with all existence, by one of the preeminent poets of her generation
The Beauty, an incandescent new collection from one of American poetry's most distinctive and essential voices, opens with a series of dappled, ranging "My" poems--"My Skeleton," "My Corkboard," "My Species," "My Weather"--using materials sometimes familiar, sometimes unexpected, to explore the magnitude, singularity, and permeability of our shared existence. With a pen faithful to the actual yet dipped at times in the ink of the surreal, Hirshfield considers the inner and outer worlds we live in yet are not confined by; reflecting on advice given her long ago--to avoid the word "or"--she concludes, "Now I too am sixty. / There was no other life." Hirshfield's lines cut, as always, directly to the heart of human experience. Her robust affirmation of choice even amid inevitability, her tender consciousness of the unjudging beauty of what exists, her abiding contemplation of our moral, societal, and biological intertwinings, sustain poems that tune and retune the keys of a life. For this poet, "Zero Plus Anything Is a World." Hirshfield's riddling recipes for that world ("add salt to hunger"; "add time to trees") offer a profoundly altered understanding of our lives' losses and additions, and of the small and larger beauties we so often miss. From the Hardcover edition.
A revelatory, indispensable collection of poems from Jane Hirshfield that centers on beauty, time, and the full embrace of an existence that time cannot help but steal from our arms. Hirshfield is unsurpassed in her ability to sink into a moment's essence and exchange something of herself with its finite music--and then, in seemingly simple, inevitable words, to deliver that exchange to us in poems that vibrate with form and expression perfectly united. Hirshfield's poems of discovery, acknowledgment of the difficult, and praise turn always toward deepening comprehension. Here we encounter the stealth of feeling's arrival ("as some strings, untouched, / sound when a near one is speaking. / So it was when love slipped inside us"), an anatomy of solitude ("wrong solitude vinegars the soul, / right solitude oils it"), a reflection on perishability and the sweetness its acceptance invites into our midst ("How suddenly then / the strange happiness took me, / like a man with strong hands and strong mouth"), and a muscular, unblindfolded awareness of our shared political and planetary fate. To read these startlingly true poems is to find our own feelings eloquently ensnared. Whether delving into intimately familiar moments or bringing forward some experience until now outside words, Hirshfield finds for each face of our lives its metamorphosing portrait, its particular, memorable, singing and singular name. Love in AugustWhite mothsagainst the screenin August darkness.Some clamor in envy.Some spread largeas two handsof a thiefwho wants to put back in your cupboardthe long-taken silver.From the Hardcover edition.
These translated poems were written by 2 ladies of the Heian court of Japan between the ninth and eleventh centuries A.D. The poems speak intimately of their authors' sexual longing, fulfillment and disillusionment.
Selected by Jane Hirshfield from over six hundred manuscripts, Litany for the City is the winner of the tenth annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize. Of Litany for the City, Hirshfield writes, "This book carries both startling imaginative freedoms and the impulsion of a person navigating the terrain of his life by means of the star-chart and sextant of poems--a winning combination, for me."Ryan Teitman is a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He holds an MA and MFA from Indiana University. He currently lives in Berkeley, California.
Mirabai is a literary and spiritual figure of legendary proportions. Born a princess in the region of Rajasthan in 1498, Mira (as she is more commonly known) eschewed the marriage her royal family had arranged for her, celebrating instead her right to independence and intense devotion to Krishna in both her life and poetry. In this collection, Robert Bly and Jane Hirshfield, two of America's best poets, have created lively English versions of Mirabai's poems, using fresh images and energetic rhythms to make them accessible to modern readers.
A precise and passionate collection by a brave new voice in poetry.
A dazzling collection of essays on how the best poems work, from the master poet and essayist "Poetry," Jane Hirshfield has said, "is language that foments revolutions of being." In ten eloquent and highly original explorations, she unfolds and explores some of the ways this is done--by the inclusion of hiddenness, paradox, and surprise; by a perennial awareness of the place of uncertainty in our lives; by language's own acts of discovery; by the powers of image, statement, music, and feeling to enlarge in every direction. The lucid understandings presented here are gripping and transformative in themselves. Investigating the power of poetry to move and change us becomes in these pages an equal investigation into the inhabitance and navigation of our human lives. Closely reading poems by Dickinson, Bashō, Szymborska, Cavafy, Heaney, Bishop, and Komunyakaa, among many others, Hirshfield reveals how poetry's world-making takes place: word by charged word. By expanding what is imaginable and sayable, Hirshfield proposes, poems expand what is possible. Ten Windows restores us at every turn to a more precise, sensuous, and deepened experience of our shared humanity and of the seemingly limitless means by which that knowledge is both summoned and forged.From the Hardcover edition.
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