“To look closely with the attention of questioning changes everything.”

img_2667“It is,” Jane Hirshfield writes in this collection of essays about poetry, “if undertaken fully, revolutionary.”  More stimulating than a triple-shot of espresso, these essays show what can happen when a great poet sets out to describe how poetry is primarily “an instrument of investigation and a mode of perception.” When they are at the highest level, perhaps scientists, analysts, and artists share Hirshield’s goal of finding “a path toward new understanding and transformation.”  This is not for the faint at heart.  Read this book if you are ready to be challenged to look closely and ask the hardest questions.

Jane Hirshfield, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry (New York: HarperPerennial, 1997), 52.


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