NPR Interview with Jane Hirshfield

In this interview, Jane Hirshfield reads her poem  “My Eyes” from The Beauty, and discusses the “window moment” in poetry. I can’t remember when I first fell in love with her poetry (2000? 2001?), but she remains one of those writers essential to my life.

10 thoughts on “NPR Interview with Jane Hirshfield

  1. Mmmm … somewhere in the 2000/2001 timeframe she was in the Austin area and I heard her read … specific details long lost, but the impact has stayed with me. Definitely an influence on my way of seeing/expressing what surrounds. Thanks for this link.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Gotta like the synchronicity of your insolent “window poem” (serving as something of a window into the rampant affliction of myopia among counterproductively-proscriptive critic-types), and Hirschfield’s celebration of poetry’s ability to increase our field of view by “quite literally looking out a window.”

    “I think compassion, in a way, is one of the most important things poems do for me, and I trust do for other people. They allow us to feel how shared our fates are. If a person reads this poem when they’re inside their own most immediate loss, they immediately — I hope — feel themselves accompanied. Someone else has been here. Someone else has felt what I felt. And, you know, we know this in our minds, but that’s very different from being accompanied by the words of a poem, which are not ideas but are experiences.”

    Yes! This “compassion” — the giving of experiential validation to others in their respective moments of need, that they might “feel themselves accompanied” –is very much the point of the poetic gesture, ideally speaking. Compassion, for me, is the very defining quality of poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

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