Jane Hirshfield is a visionary, profoundly original American writer whose poems ask nothing less than what it is to be human. Both sensual meditations and passionate investigations, they reveal complex truths in language luminous and precise. Rooted in the living world, her poems celebrate and elucidate a hard-won affirmation of our human fate. Born of a rigorous questioning of heart, spirit and mind, they have become indispensable to many American readers in navigating their own lives.
Bloodaxe published her retrospective Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems in 2005, followed byAfter in 2006, a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and then Come, Thief in 2011.
Jane Hirshfield’s latest collection, The Beauty, opens with a series of poems exploring both the profundities and the quirks of our shared human existence. She draws intimate meaning from multiple realms: science, culture, language itself, and above all the luminous materials and minutely particular emotions of daily life. In their robust negotiation with fate and justice, these clear and moving poems open a new and steepened understanding of our lives’ full measure of losses, knowledge, and loves.
‘Hirshfield’s lucid poems are philosophical and sensuous, concise yet mysterious… Wittily deductive and meta-physically resplendent, Hirshfield’s supple and knowing poems reflect her long view, her quest for balance, and her exuberant participation in the circle dance of existence’ – Donna Seaman, Booklist, on Come, Thief
‘Clear-eyed and often numinous poems…a deepening attention to every aspect of human experience, from the dailiness of our lives to the most ineffable moments’ – Steven Ratiner, Washington Post
‘Jane Hirshfield is a poet very close to my heart’ – Wislawa Szymborska
‘A profound empathy for the suffering of all living beings…It is precisely this that I praise in the poetry of Jane Hirshfield…In its highly sensuous detail, her poetry illuminates the Buddhist virtue of mindfulness’ – Czeslaw Milosz, Prze Kroj (Poland)
‘Her poetry is a rich and assured gift…an extraordinary intertwining of cherished detail and passionate abstraction…The poems’ realised ambition is wisdom’ – Alison Brackenbury, Agenda
‘Poems of quiet wisdom, steeped in a profound understanding of what it it to be human’ – The Scotsman