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 by After in 2006, a Poetry Book Society Choice which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize.
Her latest collection, Come, Thief, centres on the beauty and fragility of our lives, touching on love, science, ageing and mortality, war and the political, the revelatory daily object, and the full embrace of an existence that time cannot help but steal from our arms. Whether delving into intimately familiar moments or bringing forward some experience until now outside words, Hirshfield finds for each facet of our lives its transformative portrait, its particular memorable, singing and singular name.
"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
"Come, Thief is a book of silences… a deep well full of strength and wisdom."
Dana Jennings, New York Times
"Come, Thief is as much the accomplishment of a life in poetry as it is of a life given to inner investigation of what it means to be a human being."
Afaa M. Weaver, Orion
"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."
"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."