Jane Hirshfield on Transitions

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“When you’re looking at the transitions in your own poetry, one of the things to do is feel as you’re reading over your poem, ‘Am I bored? Do I feel lectured at?’” says Jane Hirshfield in this video from a 2011 Poets House event. “Take out some of the transitions. Allow more mystery. Allow things to stand on their own two feet.” Hirshfield is the author of nine books of poetry, including her most recent collection, Ledger (Knopf, 2020).

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The Weighing

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“So few grains of happiness / measured against all the dark / and still the scales balance.” In this video produced by the Academy of American Poets, Jane Hirshfield reads “The Weighing” from the new anthology, Here: Poems for the Planet, which will be published this week by Copper Canyon Press. The anthology includes poems by Margaret Atwood, Kwame Dawes, Ross Gay, Nikki Giovanni, Robert Hass, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Mary Oliver, and others.

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