Jane Hirshfield

Poetry: The Unfolding Of What Is Hidden with Jane Hirshfield

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Program Description

Hirshfield points out that many people turn to poetry at great life transitions. She says, “You know when people fall in love, or when they lose love, or lose someone they loved, that is when they want a poem. When they get married, they want a poem. These great transitions are larger than the normal, ordinary consciousness. And what poems do is give us a vocabulary for understanding things, which aren’t available through any other use of language.”  Her poetry alludes to far ranging subjects such as time, nature, and even science. Here she reads some of her poetry, and talks of the inspiration from which they come, and why they speak to us and move us beyond our rational minds and our busy intellect through their metaphors and images.  She shares with us why poetry, and other art forms like music, speak so deeply to the heart and soul. (hosted by Justine Willis Toms)

Bio

Jane Hirshfield was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, a recipient of the Poetry Center Book Award, the Commonwealth Club of California’s Poetry Medal, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, a book of essays, and three books collecting the women poets from the past.

Jane Hirshfield’s books include:

To learn more about the work of Jane Hirshfield go to www.facebook.com/janehirshfield.

Topics explored in this dialogue include:

  • What is the history of the word observation
  • Why do many people turn to poetry, when great transitions occur in their lives
  • How poems help us to fully inhabit what is incomprehensible by logic
  • How writing poetry should be an act of discovery, rather than transcribing what we already know
  • How does poetry stop time
  • How lichen is integral to the health of old growth redwood forests
  • How can we cultivate the attention of a writer
  • What is the seven word description of Buddhism

Host: Justine Willis Toms      Interview Date: 9/7/2011     Program Number: 3410

Music Playlist:

From Album: Hidden Sky
Artist: Jami Sieber
2004 Out Front Music #OFM-1-1-

Opening Essay: Track 01 Maenam
Music Break 1: Track 05 Red Moon
Music Break 2: Track 09 Hidden Sky
Music Break 3: Track 11 Arms of the Mother

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