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About the Author

JANE HIRSHFIELD is the author of eight books of poetry and one previous, now-classic collection of essays, and four books collecting and co-translating the work of poets from the past. A current chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, hHirshfield has received many prizes and awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Book Award, the Poetry Center Book Award, and finalist selection for the National Book Critics Circle Award and England s T.S. Eliot Prize. Her work appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, The New Republic, Harper s, Orion, The American Poetry Review, Poetry, Slate, McSweeney s, and seven editions of The Best American Poetry. She has been featured in two Bill Moyers PBS television specials, and her work appears frequently on Garrison Keillor s Writer s Almanac and other public radio programs.

Reviews

"In 20 or 30 years, this book may be remembered as one of the great common-readers on the pleasures of poetry . . . . [Hirshfield's] approach to poetry is exhilarating. Reading her is reminiscent of the joy found among the insights and illuminations of Hugh Kenner's best work . . . . This thrilling work of immense value is truly an important book on one of the most important subjects: poetry. However, like a strong drink (or a great poem) it probably isn't to be taken in a single gulp. It may even seem a little intoxicating, but drink."--"Library Journal," starred review
"With precision and passion, Hirshfield elucidates poetry's "musical shapeliness,"
"creative intention," embrace of uncertainty, and how poetry engenders a profound "unlatching." She draws stirring examples from Shakespeare, Hopkins, Whitman, Auden, Bishop, Milosz, Brooks, and Komunyakaa and illuminates the power of haiku in her affecting in-depth profile of the Japanese poet Bash. Hirshfield writes brilliantly of paradox in poetry, of what poets and stand-up comics have in common, and how poetry "counters isolation and meaninglessness." The profound pleasure Hirshfield takes in delineating poetry's efficacy makes for a beautifully enlightening volume.
-- Donna Seaman," Booklist" (starred review)
In 20 or 30 years, this book may be remembered as one of the great common-readers on the pleasures of poetry . . . . [Hirshfield s] approach to poetry is exhilarating. Reading her is reminiscent of the joy found among the insights and illuminations of Hugh Kenner s best work . . . . This thrilling work of immense value is truly an important book on one of the most important subjects: poetry. However, like a strong drink (or a great poem) it probably isn t to be taken in a single gulp. It may even seem a little intoxicating, but drink. "Library Journal," starred review
"With precision and passion, Hirshfield elucidates poetry s musical shapeliness,
creative intention, embrace of uncertainty, and how poetry engenders a profound unlatching. She draws stirring examples from Shakespeare, Hopkins, Whitman, Auden, Bishop, Milosz, Brooks, and Komunyakaa and illuminates the power of haiku in her affecting in-depth profile of the Japanese poet Bash. Hirshfield writes brilliantly of paradox in poetry, of what poets and stand-up comics have in common, and how poetry counters isolation and meaninglessness. The profound pleasure Hirshfield takes in delineating poetry s efficacy makes for a beautifully enlightening volume.
Donna Seaman," Booklist" (starred review)"
Probing and insightful deeply illuminating This brilliant collection [asks], How do poems how does art work? Hirshfield s original excursions take no shortcuts, subtly integrating image, statement, experience, and understanding. "World Literature Today"
One of our finest poets [and] best essayists on the act of writing and the art of poetry She speaks to the largest audience of poetry lovers...Windows are thrown open to a vision of poetry from the inside looking out. "New York Journal of Books"
In 20 or 30 years, this book may be remembered as one of the great common-readers on the pleasures of poetry . . . . [Hirshfield s] approach to poetry is exhilarating. Reading her is reminiscent of the joy found among the insights and illuminations of Hugh Kenner s best work . . . . This thrilling work of immense value is truly an important book on one of the most important subjects: poetry. However, like a strong drink (or a great poem) it probably isn t to be taken in a single gulp. It may even seem a little intoxicating, but drink. "Library Journal," starred review
"With precision and passion, Hirshfield elucidates poetry s musical shapeliness, creative intention, embrace of uncertainty, and how poetry engenders a profound unlatching. She draws stirring examples from Shakespeare, Hopkins, Whitman, Auden, Bishop, Milosz, Brooks, and Komunyakaa and illuminates the power of haiku in her affecting in-depth profile of the Japanese poet Bash. Hirshfield writes brilliantly of paradox in poetry, of what poets and stand-up comics have in common, and how poetry counters isolation and meaninglessness. The profound pleasure Hirshfield takes in delineating poetry s efficacy makes for a beautifully enlightening volume. Donna Seaman," Booklist"(starred review)"
-Probing and insightful...deeply illuminating...This brilliant collection [asks], 'How do poems--how does art--work?' Hirshfield's original excursions take no shortcuts, subtly integrating image, statement, experience, and understanding.- --World Literature Today

-One of our finest poets [and] best essayists on the act of writing and the art of poetry...She speaks to the largest audience of poetry lovers...Windows are thrown open to a vision of poetry from the inside looking out.- --New York Journal of Books
-In 20 or 30 years, this book may be remembered as one of the great common-readers on the pleasures of poetry . . . . [Hirshfield's] approach to poetry is exhilarating. Reading her is reminiscent of the joy found among the insights and illuminations of Hugh Kenner's best work . . . . This thrilling work of immense value is truly an important book on one of the most important subjects: poetry. However, like a strong drink (or a great poem) it probably isn't to be taken in a single gulp. It may even seem a little intoxicating, but drink.---
Library Journal
, starred review
-With precision and passion, Hirshfield elucidates poetry's -musical shapeliness, - -creative intention, - embrace of uncertainty, and how poetry engenders a profound -unlatching.- She draws stirring examples from Shakespeare, Hopkins, Whitman, Auden, Bishop, Milosz, Brooks, and Komunyakaa and illuminates the power of haiku in her affecting in-depth profile of the Japanese poet Bash. Hirshfield writes brilliantly of paradox in poetry, of what poets and stand-up comics have in common, and how poetry -counters isolation and meaninglessness.- The profound pleasure Hirshfield takes in delineating poetry's efficacy makes for a beautifully enlightening volume. --Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
"Probing and insightful...deeply illuminating...This brilliant collection [asks], 'How do poems--how does art--work?' Hirshfield's original excursions take no shortcuts, subtly integrating image, statement, experience, and understanding." --World Literature Today

"One of our finest poets [and] best essayists on the act of writing and the art of poetry...She speaks to the largest audience of poetry lovers...Windows are thrown open to a vision of poetry from the inside looking out." --New York Journal of Books

"In 20 or 30 years, this book may be remembered as one of the great common-readers on the pleasures of poetry . . . . [Hirshfield's] approach to poetry is exhilarating. Reading her is reminiscent of the joy found among the insights and illuminations of Hugh Kenner's best work . . . . This thrilling work of immense value is truly an important book on one of the most important subjects: poetry. However, like a strong drink (or a great poem) it probably isn't to be taken in a single gulp. It may even seem a little intoxicating, but drink."--Library Journal, starred review "With precision and passion, Hirshfield elucidates poetry's "musical shapeliness," "creative intention," embrace of uncertainty, and how poetry engenders a profound "unlatching." She draws stirring examples from Shakespeare, Hopkins, Whitman, Auden, Bishop, Milosz, Brooks, and Komunyakaa and illuminates the power of haiku in her affecting in-depth profile of the Japanese poet Bash. Hirshfield writes brilliantly of paradox in poetry, of what poets and stand-up comics have in common, and how poetry "counters isolation and meaninglessness." The profound pleasure Hirshfield takes in delineating poetry's efficacy makes for a beautifully enlightening volume. --Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

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