Jane Hirshfield

 
“A good poem takes something you probably already know as a human being and somehow raises your capacity to feel it to a higher degree. It allows you to know your experience more intensely. When you meet your life in a great poem, it becomes expanded, extended, clarified, magnified, deepened in colour, deepened in feeling.”
 
– Jane Hirshfield

11 thoughts on “Jane Hirshfield

  1. Regina

    A very interesting quote… I think that’s why poetry plays such an important role in my life right now- somehow I feel more alive, more human, when I read poetry- and create it.
    I am sorry I haven’t been around much, Michelle- I hope to be back to blogging regularity pretty soon!
    Hope you are well!❤

  2. Michelle Post author

    Regina, it’s lovely to see you here.

    Two more quotes from Jane Hirshfield:

    “Part of poetry’s core activity, both within an individual and within a culture, is to attend to and make visible what Jung called the shadow life. Whatever it is that isn’t being sufficiently attended to, poetry will be magnetically drawn toward.”

    “Anything worth doing is an act of going into the unknown and bringing something back, whether a new word, perception, feeling, or a new head of garlic from the spring garden.”

  3. David wa Maahlamela

    Michelle, as usual I was peepin through, but this time I decided to let you know I’m a fan. Good stuff.

  4. engemi ferreira

    “A good poem takes something you probably already know as a human being and somehow raises your capacity to feel it to a higher degree. It allows you to know your experience more intensely. When you meet your life in a great poem, it becomes expanded, extended, clarified, magnified, deepened in colour, deepened in feeling.”

    The “probably” and “somehow” in the above mentioned quote takes away all its ‘potential’ strength. I agree somewhat, with the “allows you to know your experience more intensely”, but the way this happen is dfferent to what ms Hirshfield explains.

    One cannot feel twice, in the same way as one cannot ‘dip into the same stream twice’. The problem lies in “When you meet your life in a great poem” thought. The actions of “it becomes expanded, extended, clarified, magnified,” are actually thought processes, moments of comparison, however infinitissimal they are in time, with hte thoughts ion the “great poem”. Our lives cannot thus become deepened in colour or in feeling.

    I think when one meets a great poem, it stirs something of an unknown capacity in one’s own life, a longing for the deepening of feeling and colour ms Hirshfield talks about. That longing is the feeling itself. Great poetry has to do with this longing which exists in all our souls and which only ‘true poets’ meet in these lesser or greater moments

  5. christine

    I know it when I read it. It’s harder to produce, of course. It’s that ‘ah ha’ moment, like when a dream’s meaning becomes apparent. Thanks for sharing this one!

  6. Liz

    Great quotes – they capture the magic of poetry and why I am so drawn
    to it. Thanks, Michelle.
    x

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