Quotes by Edward Hirsch

"I am a tiny seashell
that has secretly drifted ashore
and carries the sound of the ocean
surging through its body."
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"A Partial History of My Stupidity

Traffic was heavy coming off the bridge
and I took the road to the right, the wrong one,
and got stuck in the car for hours.

Most nights I rushed out into the evening
without paying attention to the trees,
whose names I didn't know,
or the birds, which flew heedlessly on.

I couldn't relinquish my desires
or accept them, and so I strolled along
like a tiger that wanted to spring,
but was still afraid of the wildness within.

The iron bars seemed invisible to others,
but I carried a cage around inside me.

I cared too much what other people thought
and made remarks I shouldn't have made.
I was slient when I should have spoken.

Forgive me, philosophers,
I read the Stoics but never understood them.

I felt that I was living the wrong life,
spiritually speaking,
while halfway around the world
thousands of people were being slaughtered,
some of them by my countrymen.

So I walked on--distracted, lost in thought--
and forgot to attend to those who suffered
far away, nearby.

Forgive me, faith, for never having any.

I did not believe in God,
who eluded me."
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"I need to live like that crooked tree--...
that knelt down in the hardest winds
but could not be blasted away."
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"And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us."
20 likes

"Works of art imitate and provoke other works of art, the process is the source of art itself."
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Books by Edward Hirsch

  • Poet's Choice
  • 216 ratings
  • April 2nd 2007 by Mariner Books

    (first published 2006)

  • A Poet's Glossary
  • 157 ratings
  • April 8th 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

    (first published January 1st 2014)

  • Wild Gratitude
  • 131 ratings
  • March 18th 2003 by Knopf

    (first published 1986)

  • The Living Fire
  • 127 ratings
  • March 9th 2010 by Knopf Publishing Group

    (first published March 2010)

Edward Hirsch
  • Edward Hirsch

  • Date of birth: January 20, 1950
  • Born: in Chicago, Illinois, The United States.

  • Description: Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. He was born in Chicago in 1950—his accent makes it impossible for him to hide his origins—and educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in Folklore. His devotion to poetry is lifelong.He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome, and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award. In 2008, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
    bio-img
    Edward Hirsch’s first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers (1981), received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986), won the National Book Critics Award.
    Since then, he has published six additional books of poems: The Night Parade (1989), Earthly Measures (1994),On Love (1998), Lay Back the Darkness (2003), Special Orders (2008), and The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which brings together thirty-five years of poems.Hirsch is also the author of five prose books, including A Poet’s Glossary (2014), the result of decades of passionate study, Poet’s Choice (2006), which consists of his popular columns from the Washington Post Book World, and How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999), a national bestseller. He is the editor of Theodore Roethke’s Selected Poems (2005) and co-editor of The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008). He also edits the series “The Writer’s World” (Trinity University Press).Edward Hirsch taught for six years in the English Department at Wayne State University and seventeen years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. He is now president of the
    John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

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