Anne and I read as much poetry, perhaps more, than we do fiction. Of the poets writing and publishing today, we have many mutual favorites. But there are two poets in particular who, when they release new material, send us rushing to a nearby independent bookstore to grab a first edition. Both of them write in a way that seems sacramental… the sound, the pace, the flavor of the language is as fragile and beautiful as the imagery it inspires in the reader’s mind. Both are intently focused on sacred mystery in the seemingly ordinary. Both take us on profoundly rewarding spiritual journeys.
They are Scott Cairns (Recovered Body, Philokalia) and Jane Hirschfield (The Lives of the Heart, Of Gravity and Angels).
So this week, we’ve been reveling in Hirschfield’s latest volume….
If you like rich, resonant, meditative poetry, you’d be hard pressed to find work by any contemporary poet as satisfying as Hirschfield’s delicate art.
I also highly recommend her book about the art of poetry: Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. You’ll learn as much about living life as you will about reading and writing poetry. In fact, I’ve learned a great deal about the art of film by reading Hirschfield’s perspective on poetry. And that’s why I’ll be referencing her occasionally when I finally get busy and write my book about film…
Oh… and I hear rumors we’ll see a new Scott Cairns book soon. You can get warmed up for the plunge into his next release by reading my interview with him from a few years back.