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The Lives of the Heart: Poems

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Jane Hirschfield, the award-winning author of "The October Palace" and editor of "Women in Praise of the Sacred", presents a scintillating new volume ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of The Lives of the Heart: Poems

Overall customer rating: 4.000

'Not Yet'

by jcraft on Apr 6, 2007

This collection of poems reaffirms Hirschfield among the great California poets--at type of go-between in the lightning variety of Jack Gilbert and Robinson Jeffers. The bulk of this book moves sinuously from a locus of form as tight and wrenched as Gilbert and as stylishly bound to natural order as Jeffers. Reading, and then thinking these poems through, pleases the poetry appetites into both Hirschfield's calm resolve and fierce control of circumstantial life. The 'Not-Yet' poems speak almost as if a letter to a young, aspiring artist--each line filled with cool, unequivocal experience in the ranges of continuous imagination. This is not a quick read. The poems in themselves take the reader to urgent sites of human explanation and reason, and beg you to stay for a while with each and every word of tense purpose. Contemporary poetics has no doubt learned from books such as these, which to borrow a title from Helen Vendler, are one in the same 'Part of Nature, Part of Us'. Read it, teach it, learn it, love it!

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