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Living Fire, The : New and Selected Poems

Hirsch, Edward

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ISBN 10: 037541522X / ISBN 13: 9780375415227
Published by Knopf 2010-03-09, US, 2010
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

237 pages. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Clean, unmarked copy with only minor wear to dust jacket. Record # 464836. Bookseller Inventory # 464836

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Living Fire, The : New and Selected Poems

Publisher: Knopf 2010-03-09, US

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

A rich and significant collection of more than one hundred poems, drawn from a lifetime of “wild gratitude” in poetry.

In 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, including the powerful, frank self-examinations in his more recent work, Edward Hirsch displays stunning range and quality. 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-beaked 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 intensity.

About the Author:

Edward Hirsch is the author of seven previous collections of poetry, including Wild Gratitude, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Special Orders. He has also published four prose books, among them How to Read a Poem, a national best seller. He has received numerous awards for his poetry, including a MacArthur Fellowship, and publishes regularly in a wide variety of magazines and journals, including American Poetry Review and The New Yorker. A longtime teacher in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston, he is now the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

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