How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love With Poetry

Edward Hirsch
Published in 2000
by Harvest Books

“Read these poems to yourself in the middle of the night,” advises Edward Hirsch in How to Read a Poem. “These poems have come from a great distance to find you.” With accessible language and encyclopedic knowledge, Hirsch offers a guide on how to enjoy reading poetry, proposing the possibility of forming an intimate relationship with the genre through moving commentary on works by Elizabeth Bishop, Paul Celan, Osip Mandelstam, and Walt Whitman, among others. Throughout these essays, Hirsch places the reader in the shoes of a great adventurer set to embark on a new journey, reminding them of the reason one becomes a reader of literature in the first place: “Reading poetry is an adventure in renewal, a creative act, a perpetual beginning, a rebirth of wonder.”