Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Jane Hirshfield continues Marsh Hawk Press' "Chapter One" series which features poets' memoirs on how they began as poets. Here's an excerpt:
"The first book I bought with my own allowance money, at age seven or eight, was a book of Japanese haiku, discovered on one of those metal spiral display stands in a stationary store on First Avenue in the East 20s. I have no idea now what a child growing up in New York City found in these poems, whose vocabulary of meaning-making was falling blossoms I’d never known, singing birds I’d never heard, darkness and moonlight I’d seen only by peering past streetlights. The more I’ve since learned about haiku, the more I’ve come to realize how complex their registries of feeling and thought are. I can’t have grasped any of that as a child. But I suspect that I recognized in those poems a world I wanted to live in—a world whose windows opened to a larger existence."

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