From its opening epigraph, On Love takes the subjects of and fusion, autonomy and blur. The initial up separateness progression of fifteen shapely and passionate lyrics (including a sonnet about the poet at seven, a villanelle about the loneliness of a pioneer woman on the prairie, and an elegy for Amy Clampitt) opens out into a sequence of ...
From its opening epigraph, On Love takes the subjects of and fusion, autonomy and blur. The initial up separateness progression of fifteen shapely and passionate lyrics (including a sonnet about the poet at seven, a villanelle about the loneliness of a pioneer woman on the prairie, and an elegy for Amy Clampitt) opens out into a sequence of meditations about love. These arresting love poems are spoken by a gallery of historical figures from Denis Diderot, Heinrich Heine, Charles Baudelaire, and Ralph Waldo Emerson to Gertrude Stein, Frederico Garcia Lorca, Zora Neale Hurston, and Colette. Personal, literary, On Love is formally adept and moving, a volume to be read and reread.
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Publishers Weekly, 1985-12-20 Like a virtuoso pianist who makes a difficult piece sound easy to play, Hirsch writes poems that flow with a captivating directness and ease. Using a simple vocabulary, a sometimes intimate, conversational tone, he creates succinct and powerful pieces in which an honest voice speaks without affectation. It is a voice of affirmation, expressing ``wild gratitude'' for life with all its beauty, complexity and terror. Writing of a friend dying of cancer at 37, Hirsch finds an objective correlative in a windy October night, full of falling leaves and rain, which transports the reader from the particular to the universal. In ``Commuters,'' he writes about a man who stands outside himself watching himself get off a commuter train and into his car. Repetition and precise description of the man's movements capture perfectly his sense of dislocation and alienation. This volume of 32 poems, part of the Knopf Poetry Series, is an admirable successor to Hirsch's first, highly praised book, For the Sleepwalkers. January 23
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