PDF ¶ BOOK The Living Fire New and Selected Poems Ñ HANNAHREDHEAD

EBOOK The Living Fire New and Selected Poems

PDF ¶ BOOK The Living Fire New and Selected Poems Ñ HANNAHREDHEAD ´ A rich and significant collection of than one hundred poems drawn from a lifetime of “wild gratitude” in poetryIn poems chronicling insomnia “the blue rimmed edge of outer dark those crossroads where we meet the dead” art and cultuEd boy who perched in the branches of the old branch library” as well as the passionate middle aged man who tells his lover “I wish I could paint you I need a brush for your hard angles and ferocious blues and reds I wish I could paint you from the waist down”Grieving for the losses occasioned by our mortality Hirsch’s ultimate impulse as a poet is to praise to wreathe himself as he writes in “the living fire” that burns with a ferocious intensit Reverent and plainpraising and ordinary all at the same time I don’t know why I like this poet’s voice I just like it I hear his academic tone in many of the poems but it doesn’t either enhance or de enhance my reading of him; it is just his voice calm clear masculine crafting poetry from the ordinary and “wild gratitude” infusing so many of them He is not afraid of emotion nor of struggle and growth nor of human frailty or of anything and it feels like a primal fearlessness that belongs to all of us Song Against Natural Selection The weak survive A man with a damaged arm a house missing a single brick one step torn away from the other steps the way I was once torn away from you; this hurts us it isn't what we'd imagined what we'd hoped for when we were young and still hoping for still imagining things but we manage we survive Sure losing is hard work one limb severed at a time makes it that much harder to get around the city another word dropped from our vocabularies and the remaining words are that much heavier on our tongues that much further from ourselves and yet people go on talking speech survives It isn't easy giving up limbs trying to manage with that much less to eat each week that much money we know we'll never make things we not only can't buy but can't afford to look at in the stores; this hurts us and yet we manage we survive so that losing itself becomes a kind of song our song our only witness to the way we die one day at a time; a leg severed a word buried this is how we recognize ourselves and whyA CHINESE VASESometimes I think that my body is a vaseWith me in it a blue tiled Chinese vaseThat I return to sometimes in the rainIt’s raining hard but inside the little china vaseThere is clean white water circling slowlyThrough the shadows like a flock of yellow geeseCircling over a small lake or like the lake itselfRuffled with wind and geese in a light rainThat is not dirty or stained or even ruffled byThe medley of motors and oars and sometimes even sailsThat are washed each summer to her knees It’s rainingIn the deep poplars and in the stand of gray pines;It’s snowing in the mountains in the Urals in theWastes of Russia that have edged off into China;The rain has turned to sleet and the sleetHas turned to snow in the sullen black cloudsThat have surfaced in the cracks of that ChineseVase in the wrinkles that have widened like riversIn that vase of china It’s snowing harder and harderNow over the mountains but inside the mountainsThere is a sunlit cave a small cave perhapsLike a monk’s cell or like a small pondWith geese and with clear mountain water inside Sometimes I think that I come back to my bodyThe way a penitent or a pilgrim or a poetOr a whore or a murderer or a very young girlComes for the first time to a holy placeTo kneel down to forget the impossible weightOf being human to drink clear water FALLFall falling fallen That's the way the seasonChanges its tense in the long haired maplesThat dot the road; the veiny hand shaped leavesRedden on their branches in a fiery competitionWith the final remaining cardinals and thenBegin to sidle and float through the air at lastSettling into colorful layers carpeting the groundAt twilight the light too is layered in the treesIn a season of odd dusky congruences—a scarlet tanagerAnd the odor of burning leaves a golden retrieverLoping down the center of a wide street and the sunSetting behind smoke filled trees in the distanceA gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloudBlamelessly filling the space with purples EverythingChanges and moves in the split second between summer'sSprawling past and winter's hard revision one momentPulling out of the station according to scheduleAnother moment arriving on the next platform ItHappens almost like clockwork the leaves drift awayFrom their branches and gather slowly at our feetSliding over our ankles and the season begins movingAround us even as its colorful weather moves usEven as it pulls us into its dusty twilit pockets And every year there is a brief startling momentWhen we pause in the middle of a long walk home andSuddenly feel something invisible and weightlessTouching our shoulders sweeping down from the airIt is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;It is the changing light of fall falling on usTwo Scholarly Love Poems1 Dead Sea Scrolls I was like the words on a papyrus apocryphon buried in a cave at umranand you were the scholar I had been waiting for all my life the one readerwho unravelled the scrolls and understood the language and deciphered its mysteriesIncandescence at Dusk Homage to Dionysius the AreopagiteThere is fire in everythingshining and hidden—Or so the saint believed And I believe the saintNothing stays the samein the shimmering heatOf dusk during Indian summer in the countryOut here it is possible to perceiveThat those brilliant red weltsslashed into the horizonAre like a drunken whipwhistling across a horse’s backAnd that round ball flaring in the treesIs like a coal sizzlingin the mouth of a desert prophetBe carefulSomeone has called the orange leavessweeping off the branchesThe colorful palmprints of Godbrushing against our facesSomeone has called the banked pilesof twigs and twisted veinsThe handprints of the underworldGathering at our ankles and burningthrough the soles of our feetWe have to bear the sunset deep inside usI don’t believe in ultimate thingsI don’t believe in the inextinguishable lightof the other worldI don’t believe that we will be lifted upand transfixed by radianceOne incandescent dusky world is all there isBut I like this vigilant saintWho stood by the river at nightfallAnd saw the angels descendingas burnished mirrors and fiery wheelsAs living creatures of fireas streams of white flame 1500 years in his wakeI can almost imaginehis disappointment and joyWhen the first cool windstarts to rise on the prairieWhen the soothing blue rain beginsto fall out of the cerulean night

Edward Hirsch å The Living Fire New and Selected Poems TEXT

Including the powerful frank self examinations in his recent work Edward Hirsch displays stunning range and uality Repeatedly confronting the darkness his own sense of godlessness “Forgive me faith for never having any” he also struggles with the unlikely presence of the divine the power of art to redeem human transience and the complexity of relationships Throughout the collection his own life trajectory enriches the poems; he is the “skinny long beak One of the best books of poetry I've ever read It's absolutely beautiful

EBOOK ë The Living Fire New and Selected Poems å Edward Hirsch

The Living Fire New and Selected PoemsA rich and significant collection of than one hundred poems drawn from a lifetime of “wild gratitude” in poetryIn poems chronicling insomnia “the blue rimmed edge of outer dark those crossroads where we meet the dead” art and culture poems on Edward Hopper and Paul Celan love poems in the voices of Baudelaire and Gertrude Stein a meditation on two suitcases of children’s drawings that came out of the Terezin concentration camp and his own experience I’m so grateful for this book it has restored my faith in poetry I uses to love to read and write poetry as a teenager but somehow stopped often finding modern poetry both Dutch and English language self indulgent or just undecipherable or both and I guess both the reading and writing of poetry had started to feel too self absorbed as well But these lines restored my faith from Earthly Light Homage to the Seventeenth Century Dutch painters ‘If painting is to be a form of prayer prayer which Weil called “unmixed attention”and George Herbert “something understood”’And this is what Hirsch has brought back into my life reading poetry as praying reading poetry with unmixed attention reading poetry while listening to the wind rustling the leaves and feeling both the heartbreak of life and a deep calm settling in