inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #0 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 12:42
    
 We're very pleased to welcome our next author, the Well's very own
 Jane Hirshfield - a civilizing influence in the wilds of the Well.

 Jane Hirshfield is the author of six collections of poetry, including
 After (HarperCollins,  2006) and Given Sugar, Given Salt (finalist for
 the 2001 National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Bay Area
 Book Reviewers Award), as well as a now-classic book of essays, Nine
 Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry. Other honors include fellowships
 from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, the National Endowment
 for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets. Her work has appeared
 multiple times in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry, and The Best
 American Poetry, and has been featured in two Bill Moyers PBS
 television specials.


 The discussion will be led by Joe Flower, another longtime Well'er
 and a man of many talents.

 Joe Flower, the longtime host of the Well's Writers Conference, is a
 semi-reformed poet. Over thirty years ago, he founded the Bay Area
 publication Poetry Flash. During his college years he made part of his
 living peddling his own poetry door to door. Eventually he came to the
 conclusion that, when it came to poetry, he was a better reader than
 writer. As a reader, one of Joe's great joys in the Writers Conference 
 has been Jane's participation.
 
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #1 of 103: Joe Flower (bbear) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:09
    <hidden>
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #2 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:32
    
Due to a scheduling conflict, the beginning of this discussion
will show up as a series of posts under my ID.  Joe and Jane will
be along shortly to pick up the thread ...
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #3 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:33
    
Joe: You seemed to know that you wanted to be a writer very early.

Jane: Yes. When my first book was published, my mother pulled a sheet of 
lined paper out of a drawer, with this little kid's printing on it--mine, 
from the first grade. It said, "I want to be a writer when I grow up." I 
have no memory of having written that. But I do remember the first book I 
ever bought for myself- I was maybe eight or nine. It was a little one 
dollar Peter Piper Press book of haiku.

Joe: Sounds prescient, almost; or at least very single-minded. Because nine 
years later, there you are at Princeton with an independent major, focused 
on creative writing and literature-in-translation, with a special interest 
in Japanese literature. Then just as you graduate from college, you win a 
major poetry prize from The Nation. Now, the usual career path here would 
be to go for an MFA, a teaching post in a university. I mean, Princeton, 
The Nation . . . but you didn't to that. You walked away. 

Jane: Yes. I did. First I did farm labor for nine months, then I went off 
to study Zen. I thought that might be just for a few months, but it turned 
out to be fulltime for eight years.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #4 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:34
    
Joe: And how much poetry did you write during that period?

Jane: During the three years of that time which were spent in the monastery, 
none. I had to be willing to walk away from poetry, perhaps forever. If I 
didn't learn what it was to be human, I knew there was no chance I could 
do it at all anyway. I knew literature some, I knew a bit about myself, but 
I had to find a way to enter the human heart and mind much more deeply, to 
find a way to sit inside my own experience and the world's experience in a 
way both more permeable and more unflinching.

Joe: Wow. Where was this?

Jane: The San Francisco Zen Center. The three years of monastery practice 
were at Tassajara, at the end of a 14 mile dirt road into the Ventana 
Wilderness, inland from Big Sur. No electricity. No heat. No glass in the 
windows-just plastic in winter, screens in summer. No hot water except at 
the communal baths, which are, though a hot spring-so that was some great 
moment of consolation no matter how cold it got. 
 
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #5 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:35
    
Joe: That's quite a plunge. You're from  New York, right? Born in Manhattan, 
raised on the Lower East Side. So it was only after the training was over 
that you began writing books of poetry? "Alaya" in 1982, then "Of Gravity 
And Angels" six years later, were the first two. But at the same time you 
were working on the 1988 book, you were also doing what was actually the 
first book of yours that I discovered: "The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by 
Ono no Komachi and Izumi Skikibu," which you co-translated with Mariko 
Aratani. Captivating poems, intimate, unsentimental, some of them 
heart-wrenching, by these two ladies of the Imperial court in 9th and 
10th-century Japan. How long had you been working on that?

Jane: In one sense, since I was an undergraduate. I have loved that period 
in literary history (794-1185 AD) since first being introduced to it. It 
was not only a golden age for poetry, it's the only example we have of one 
in which women writers were the predominant geniuses. And mostly, of course, 
what I loved were the poems themselves. To me, they were both new 
discoveries and also deep mirrors of my own experience and heart. How could 
I resist:

In this world
love has no color-
but how deeply
my body
is stained by yours.

         Izumi Shikibu
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #6 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:37
    
Joe: I suspect this conversation will come back to these Japanese poems 
later on, but to continue establishing some background for people, you have 
kept busy. "The October Palace" came out in 1994, and in the same year you 
published another work recovering and celebrating women's poetry from the 
past, "Women in Praise of the Sacred: 43 Centuries of Spiritual Poetry by 
Women." That book holds poetry from 66 different women, from ancient 
Sumeria to medieval Europe to early 20th-century Korea. Then three years 
later we get your fourth book of poems, "The Lives of the Heart," which 
holds what remain some classic Hirshfield pieces for me. And in that same 
year, 1997, you published "Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry," a 
remarkable set of essays with what Gary Snyder called "a diamond-hard set 
of insights" into art, creativity, and the life of the independent mind. 

In 2001, you came out with your fifth book of poems, "Given Sugar, Given 
Salt," and then "Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems," a collaborative translation, 
with Robert Bly, of the fifteenth-century female Indian ecstatic poet, 
came out two years ago. 

And now, after a long gestation, we have "After," which is surely your 
most unusual book yet.

Jane: I myself have no idea how these ten books happened. My own perception 
is always one of not writing, of never having enough time to write, to do 
the central work. A problem I think permeates the whole culture, one way or 
another. We are all harried by too many demands in too many directions. How 
to find the way to contemplative silence, to the deeper saturations and 
comprehensions poetry requires, is for me a continual koan.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #7 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:39
    
Joe: You have been known to quote a Zen saying: "Not knowing, we proceed." 
How can you write without knowing what you're going to write about? It's 
almost like that Red Smith quote, "Writing is easy. All you do is put a 
blank piece of paper in the typewriter and stare at it until small drops 
of blood form on your forehead." But that seems impossible.

Jane: Impossible-just so. And yet it's also the richest place to be. It's 
even, in a way, the stage of life I like the best, that moment just before 
coherence and self-knowledge have announced themselves.

Joe: And do they announce themselves? Is that something you can depend on?

Jane: Oh, no. I don't ever feel I can depend on anything coming. Poem 
making is absolutely precarious for me, and any time a new one arrives 
feels a grace, a gift and a reprieve. Once again a door opens where there 
was only a wall, and I'm able to glimpse more than I knew I could see. There 
is though a moment when you see the door begin to emerge, when your hand 
moves toward a doorknob that wasn't there two minutes earlier. When 
anything is possible. And that, for me, and probably for any writer, is the 
paradise-moment.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #8 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:41
    
Joe: For all your Buddhist training, there is precious little in the poetry 
that is, in a surface way, about Buddhism. We don't see poetry about 
meditation, or robes, or koans. 

Jane: I think there's one poem that makes a reference to koans-but you're 
quite right that many people-not only the great American-Buddhist poets 
we all know, but also people who've never sat down and crossed their legs 
in meditation at all-have more explicit references to dharma matters or 
imagery than I do.

One of things that attracted me to Zen monasticism was that the stage of 
intensive training - off in the wilderness alone, studying - does for most 
people, even for priests, come to an end. It's not like Catholicism, where 
monastic life is a lifetime vow, and leaving is a failure or abnegation or 
sign of some alteration of commitment.  Just as Zen itself is a merging 
with the ordinary, Zen practitioners do typically reenter the ordinary 
world. And at a certain point in one's practice, wherever you are, 
monastery or mall, there is no "Zen"-- there is only life.

Still, it's true that I've chosen the least obviously Buddhist of the 
Buddhist paths. I like to think of it as what in Japan is sometimes called 
"teahouse practice." You imagine a teahouse alongside a dusty road, run by 
an old lady. Nobody knows why they like to go in there to get their tea. 
But they do. It has something to do with the way she sees them when they 
come in, and with the way she wipes down the counter. That kind of 
unobtrusive awareness is what I want to bring to my poems. A Zen that is 
not obviously apparent but gets into the tea somehow. Everything, you know, 
does in fact get into the tea somehow. 

We can't help it.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #9 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:50
    
Joe: There will inevitably be some species of resistance to a poet 
associated with the sacred, whose work works toward that vast acceptance 
that is the core and home of the deepest spiritual traditions. The 
resistance is a kind of skepticism, a sort of wondering about the poet 
behind the poem: 

Can she really be all that radiant, that compassionate, that accepting of 
our fate?

Jane: Oh, no one need worry. I'm not, and I don't think the poems 
represent their speaker as any kind of fully enlightened being. I hope not. 
I experience even the ones that do find their way to a full acceptance of 
the difficult as struggles toward something hard-won, and only momentarily 
won. 

Poems I think are almost always better than the person-that's one 
reason to write them, to try to exceed the self you would be, and are, 
without them. For me, acceptance of the difficult events and emotions of a 
life, of the losses and brutality not only in personal life but in how we 
human beings treat one another and treat the world--this presents the 
profound and central challenge. Zen is a path that was developed to end 
suffering, but this far practice hasn't made me immune to anything.  Life, 
for me, continues to feel tremendously hard, tremendously painful. I look 
out my window and see great beauty, but also suffering. Of the houses I 
see from my window, how many have in them illness, death, rage, delusion, 
any of the great undoings? Sometimes you know this is going on, sometimes 
you don't. There's a poem in the new book that looks at just that 
question-the whole poem, really, is in the title: "In A Room With Five 
People, Six Griefs." 

But maybe I'll put the poem in here, too:


    In A Room With Five People, Six Griefs

    In a room with five people, six griefs. 
    Some you will hear of, some not.
    Let the room hold them, their fears, their anger.  
    Let there be walls and windows, a ceiling. 
    A door through which time 
    changer of everything
    can enter.


Good literature-and I hope in this lifetime I myself will write at least 
a few things that are good-verges on a dark precipice. The job of poetry 
is not to shine a light which causes darkness to diminish or vanish; it 
is to bring even darkness into visibility. My poems aren't meant to be 
simple affirmations, but what I hope are visibly hard-won affirmations - 
affirmations that don't negate the despair out of which they so often come.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #10 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:51
    
Joe: There is this remarkable thing about your work - it is how I know that 
I am in a Jane Hirshfield poem - that the bright line between the human 
world - political, social, gossipy human world - and nature, rocks, trees, 
mules - is gone. The mule and I are one. The lions and I. 

Jane: One of the marks of being human is that we reside amidst all of the 
stories that we have created to examine our existence more thoroughly: 
scientific realities, political, historical, psychological, mythic. At the 
same time we exist in a continuum with non-human being.

I am actually not all that human-centered. I know that many, many people 
would disagree vehemently with my feeling about this--the Judeo-Christian-
Islamic worldview, the Marxist worldview, just about any worldview I can 
think of would disagree, except for some parts of Buddhism, and some parts 
of a growing environmental or Gaia-hypothesis consciousness, and some parts 
of a scientific worldview. Maybe a few native traditions have long described 
a more continuous sense of existence, or the world of Greek myths. Still, 
these clashing conceptions of what lies at the center are probably the 
fiercest source of violence in the world today, rivalling simple greed in 
their repercussions upon us all, and I don't want to diminish or fail to 
acknowledge that. 

For me, though, the natural world and the world of ethics and politics 
are not distinct. If you exploit nature you will exploit people. If you 
find somehow at the most fundamental level of being that your relationship 
to other people, other things, other animals, is a relationship of kinship - 
then you perhaps will behave ethically in the world of people as well. The 
sense of intimacy, the sense of inclusion in the grammar of "we"-how else 
can we find compassion not just for what we already approve of, but for 
what we are troubled by? And without compassion, how will we ever find 
peace-which is what even those who initiate wars say they are seeking.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #11 of 103: Hal Royaltey (hal) Tue 21 Feb 06 23:55
    
Joe: Coud you say something a little more about the way you feel poems 
affect the outer realities of our lives?

Jane: Robert Lowell said - he was on a trip to the then Soviet Union at 
the time, at the height of the Cold War - "Art does not create peace. Art 
is peace." Pablo Neruda said, "What flour is for the making of bread, peace 
is for the making of poetry."  I think what each of them was pointing 
towards was the way that poetry is centered on the knowledge of our 
connection-to self, to other, to all of existence. Every time a metaphor 
or image appears in a poem, the barricades between inside and outside, 
between self and other vanish. Poems affect events mostly indirectly - 
excepting a few examples, for instance Czeslaw Milosz's assertion that 
reading Whitman raised the young radicals of Europe to a fever pitch that 
perhaps caused the First World War. But I believe that the "war" poems of 
Wilfred Owen, for instance, or Keith Douglass, or Randall Jarrell, helped 
shift our human view of what is acceptable between human beings, what not. 
And I also believe that the poems of Emily Dickinson, in their very 
different way, break open the heart to a way of walking in the world that 
cannot look upon violence with mindless enthusiasm.

One of the central jobs of poetry in these times, I think, is to wake us 
up, to make us feel and think for ourselves, to taste our own experience 
in an awake way. They are an antidote to the cultural forces that would 
have us be less than fully human, that would make us enter willingly into 
bondage to fear or consumerism or the simple exhaustion or impulse toward 
escape that comes to those for whom the basics of life are just too hard 
to bear. Poetry keeps the heart alive to hope.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #12 of 103: Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 22 Feb 06 13:04
    

(NOTE: Offsite readers with questions or comments may email them to
<inkwell@well.com> to have them added to the conversation here)
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #13 of 103: Mary Mackey (mm) Wed 22 Feb 06 18:30
    

Which of your poems has most kept your own "heart alive to hope," Jane?
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #14 of 103: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Wed 22 Feb 06 18:40
    
In one way, probably every poem I've written has been a kind of spell
against despair... but certain ones more obviously than others. So for an
example, there's a poem that's been reprinted in this month's O (Oprah)
magazine, whose title is "Optimism." The same poem will appear in April in a
series of broadsides being given away in bookstores as a Poets for Peace
project--they'll be printing the same number of total copies as the number
of soldiers who've died in Iraq at the time of going to press. (I imagine
the woman who did the project would have liked to do the number of all
people who died in Iraq, but that is both unknowable, and too large for a
single person on a peace mission to fund, I'd guess.) And it was also sent
out by a fine letterpress as a New Year's greeting in January 2005, after
the last election. That so many different places have chosen to put it out
into the world at this time I take as a sign that I'm not the only one in
need of a reminder of resilience, of hope. (I'll copy the poem into the next
post.)
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #15 of 103: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Wed 22 Feb 06 18:43
    


   Optimism


More and more I have come to admire resilience.
Not the simple resistance of a pillow, whose foam
returns over and over to the same shape, but the sinuous
tenacity of a tree: finding the light newly blocked on one side,
it turns in another. A blind intelligence, true.
But out of such persistence arose turtles, rivers,
mitochondria, figs -- all this resinous, unretractable earth.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #16 of 103: Joe Flower (bbear) Wed 22 Feb 06 19:44
    
Which brings up an interesting question, returning a bit to the theme of 
the poet in the world. In the Writers Conference right now, there is a 
debate about the mania for readings and book events. Some are saying 
that, whatever the demands of the market, Thomas Pynchon's stance - no 
public face at all - is the right stance for the artist. You do a lot of 
readings, seminars, workshops. You have done two television shows with 
Bill Moyers. You seem to be a private person, but a quite public poet. 
Is there a tension there? Does the public side of your work feed your 
work in some way?
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #17 of 103: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Wed 22 Feb 06 21:24
    
There's a great tension, and also a great irony. Something that began as an
entirely private crafting of a self by a young girl who hid her poems under
the mattress has somehow led me to speak to strangers, in public. The
conversation we've been having in the Writers Conference is far too richly
nuanced to be encapsulated here, but I've loved how every side of the
experience has been spoken for by various Well members, and I can agree with
every one of the opinions people express. To never go out in public, just do
the writing: perfect. To meet people in the intimacy of the words on the
voice, embodied: perfect. That certain kinds of writing might need some
assistance finding their readers: how true. That certain kinds of writers
damage the soul by becoming too caught up in all that: also true.

The irony for me is that I am in fact so very private. No one reading my
books will ever know the autobiographical, outer facts of my life. Yet the
inner life is utterly exposed. But you know, perhaps it's like physical
modesty: no one feels abashed at someone looking at their x-ray, but most of
us wouldn't want to be looked at by strangers undressed.

Your other question--does this public part of my life as a poet bring some
sustenance to the poems themselves--isn't so easy to answer. In terms of
practical time, it takes me away from writing. When I'm typing here in
Inkwell, I'm not writing a poem. Yet learning to speak to others directly,
both here in the Well all these years, and out in the world, I think has
ripened something in me that comes out in the poems.

The last thing I'll say about this is that I think human life is almost
always a balancing out. If you start out an introvert, you will be called to
function in the world of others. If you start out an extrovert, you will be
thrown back into the solitude of the self. That's certainly what I've found
to be true in my own life, anyhow.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #18 of 103: Susanna Laaksonen (sussu-nen) Wed 22 Feb 06 22:42
    
When did you do your first public reading? Do you remember what that
was like, and if so, could you briefly describe it?
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #19 of 103: Mary Mackey (mm) Wed 22 Feb 06 22:44
    

and were you scared? I know I was.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #20 of 103: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Thu 23 Feb 06 08:00
    
I was probably shaking. It was in 1973, when I won the prize from The
Nation that the next year became the Discover Award. One part of the
prize was having the poem published in The Nation. The other was giving
a reading with my three fellow prizewinners for the Poetry Society of
America. I was 20. This was before the PSA was "renovated" by a kind of
takeover, and the membership at the time was very proper, of a certain
age (one I am now closer to than the age I was then), and their taste
in poetry (how did I know this? I'm not sure) ran to the rhymed and
formal. I have only a vague memory of 300 or so looks of polite
incomprehension as I read my poem. (I still have a warm spot for that
poem. I have a selected poems out in England--not available in
America--that runs in reverse chronological order, and that is the last
poem in the book. It was written when I was 18.)

My first regular public reading was at Cody's in Berkeley, probably
sometime around 1981. It was a shared reading, with Phyllis Stowell,
far better published at that time than I. There was an audience of 18.
It was thrilling to be at the great Cody's Books, that institution of
literature, and absolutely terrifying to actually read. What I remember
best: these Poetry Flash sponsored readings, then as now, collected $2
at the door, to be split between the readers. My beloved and I took
the $18 and went out to celebrate at the newly opened Chez Panisse
upstairs cafe. We spent the whole thing on a calzone and either one or
two glasses of some good white wine. My first income as a working poet,
that felt.

It's hard for me to figure out quite why I started doing these
things--I think it just seemed what one was supposed to do. If you
wrote poems and if you published poems, you also gave readings. I read
tonight in Palo Alto--the fifth of a series of readings for the new
book around the Bay Area, one in each county. I am no longer terrified
by most readings, but still get what I might best describe as "alert." 
In Buddhism, there is a list of "The Five Great Fears." Things like
fear of death, fear of the loss of sanity, fear of the loss of
livelihood. Fear of public speaking is among them.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #21 of 103: Gail Williams (gail) Thu 23 Feb 06 10:22
    

Wow, eighteen.  Excellent.  And yay for Poetry Flash and Cody's for 
their support of you and Bay Area poets.  Wonderful institutions.

I wonder what it is about readings.  I am sometimes shaky in public
speaking situations where I have exact notes on what to say, like 
testimony at hearings for example, even though I used to love doing 
on-stage performances included hypothetically more terrifying improv, 
and I enjoy addressing conferences and being on panels.

I sometimes wonder what that public speaking fear is really about.  
Fear of disapproval & rejection at the core, or perhaps a strange 
loop of being afraid that one's voice will sound weak, insecure, 
fearful? Fear of being shunned, excluded, exiled?  Memories of a tough 
second grade teacher?  Amazing that it is so universal.  I wonder if
it is ancient too -- I don't remember references in mythology, folk
tales, traditional songs or literature --  not a lot of "'here's the 
talking stick, Coyote, now don't be shy,' said Raven."

I love how you read, Jane.  We're luck that you've found your way 
through the challenge.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #22 of 103: Jane Hirshfield (jh) Thu 23 Feb 06 11:34
    
Those are fascinating speculations, and I imagine all of them are
true. The shame of the first wrong words spoken in childhood, of
suddenly finding oneself laughed at or mocked.... socialization comes
at a steep cost to the innocence of soul-exposure we might have been
born to. But I think it may also go even further back, into evolution:
the antelope who stands out from the herd is the one the lion will
notice. We were not always at the top of the food chain. And no
creature can be. Only time and vanishment hold that spot.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #23 of 103: Sarah from off-Well (bumbaugh) Thu 23 Feb 06 11:45
    

Sarah writes:

from the interview . . .

"You imagine a teahouse alongside a dusty road, run by
an old lady. Nobody knows why they like to go in there
to get their tea. But they do. It has something to do
with the way she sees them when they come in, and with
the way she wipes down the counter. That kind of
unobtrusive awareness is what I want to bring to my
poems. A Zen that is not obviously apparent but gets
into the tea somehow. Everything, you know,
does in fact get into the tea somehow."

"We can't help it."


----

Dear Jane,

What threads of Taoism have influenced you?

The Tao is often pictured (in Taoism) much like the
old woman in this story.  And I think your way of
seeing is as much Taoist, or Tao Te Ching like, as it
is Buddhist. Especially when you throw in the Gaia
Hypothesis as you have done. As a woman getting
older myself, or fearing getting older, I am more
and more touched by this old woman idea of the divine,
rather than the Greek Goddess image, eternally young.
I know that divinity is always close at hand
for everyone, but the culture we live in often
wars with the greater wisdom of the heart.

I spent a great deal of time studying WOMEN IN PRAISE
OF THE SACRED, and found all religions joining in
harmony there -- a wonderful experience truly!!  Thank
you so much for that book and for the INK DARK MOON.

Sarah
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #24 of 103: gary (ggg) Thu 23 Feb 06 12:28
    
     < slippage! >

Congratulations on this utterly needful and most beautiful book, Jane.  I
didn't buy a copy yet, but from what I was fortunate to limn during your
reading at Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books, that's my sense of it.

I've been keenly following your work closely since *Alaya*, but it's the
reading at Clean that sticks in my mind right now, in a number of ways.

For instance, linking to the private/public, I have a sense that you hold to
a sense of the poet's voice somehow differing from one's every day voice
('tho using fluid speech).  Maybe, at some point, you might share with us a
bit of how you perceive that.
  
inkwell.vue.266 : Jane Hirshfield, "After"
permalink #25 of 103: Sharon Brogan (sbmontana) Thu 23 Feb 06 12:50
    
I am reading this with such pleasure.
  

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