Title: HOW TO READ A POEM AND FALL IN LOVE WITH ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1999
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 352 pages. Published in 1999. Landmark collection of essays on subject. One of the best introductions to the art of poetry ever written. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Edward Hirsch's "How To Read A Poem And Fall In Love With Poetry". His book-length account on his vocation. "Hirsch's guide to getting the most out of poetry is filled with inspiring examples and thousands of epigrams and allusions. Above all, he is intent on poetry's physical and emotional power. In chapters devoted to the lyric, the narrative, the poetry of sorrow, of ecstasy, of witness, Hirsch continually conveys the sheer ecstasy of this vital act of communication. Above all, there is the thrill of discovery as Hirsch offers up works by artists ranging from Anna Akhmatova to Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Bishop to Adam Zagajewski. I defy you not to fall in love with Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska on the basis of 'The Joy of Writing', which begins: 'Why does this written doe bound through these written woods? / For a drink of written water from a spring / whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle? / Why does she lift her head; does she hear something? / Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth, / she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips'. His introductions to Eastern European poets such as Jiri Orten, Attila Jozsef, and Miklos Radnoti will make you want to ferret out their hard-to-find work" (Kerry Fried). The appended Glossary and Extended Reading List are indispensable. An absolute "must-have" title for Edward Hirsch collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Edward Hirsch. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. He also crossed out his printed name. This title is a modern classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. Please note: Many copies available online are subsequent printings or have major flaws. A rare signed copy thus. "Earthly Measures" is regarded by Harold Bloom as one of the canonical works of the 20th century. One of the greatest poets of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER EDWARD HIRSCH TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0151004196. Bookseller Inventory # 19049
Synopsis: "Read a poem to yourself in the middle of the night. Turn on a single lamp and read it while you're alone in an otherwise dark room or while someone sleeps next to you. Say it over to yourself in a place where silence reigns and the din of culture-the constant buzzing noise that surrounds you-has momentarily stopped. This poem has come from a great distance to find you." So begins this astonishing book by one of our leading poets and critics. In an unprecedented exploration of the genre, Hirsch writes about what poetry is, why it matters, and how we can open up our imaginations so that its message-which is of vital importance in day-to-day life-can reach us and make a difference. For Hirsch, poetry is not just a part of life, it is life, and expresses like no other art our most sublime emotions. In a marvelous reading of world poetry, including verse by such poets as Wallace Stevens, Elizabeth Bishop, Pablo Neruda, William Wordsworth, Sylvia Plath, Charles Baudelaire, and many more, Hirsch discovers the meaning of their words and ideas and brings their sublime message home into our hearts. A masterful work by a master poet, this brilliant summation of poetry and human nature will speak to all readers who long to place poetry in their lives but don't know how to read it.
Review: Edward Hirsch's primer may very well inspire readers to catch the next flight for Houston and sign up for any and all of his courses. Not for nothing does this attentive and adoring poet-teacher title his book How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry; Hirsch's big guide to getting the most out of this form is packed with inspiring examples and thousands of epigrams and allusions. Above all, he is intent on poetry's physical and emotional power. In chapters devoted to the lyric, the narrative, the poetry of sorrow, of ecstasy, of witness, Hirsch continually conveys the sheer ecstasy of this vital act of communication. (He takes us, for instance, with great care and mounting excitement, through Emily Brontë's "Spellbound," which he discovered at age 8 when "baseball season was over for the year.") Above all, there is the thrill of discovery as Hirsch offers up works by artists ranging from Anna Akhmatova to Walt Whitman, Elizabeth Bishop to Adam Zagajewski, and everyone in between. I defy you not to fall in love with Wislawa Szymborska on the basis of "The Joy of Writing," which begins:
Why does this written doe bound through these written woods?Elsewhere, Hirsch's section on Sterling Brown's redefinitions of African American work songs should put this neglected poet back on the map. And his introductions to Eastern European poets such as Jirí Orten, Attila József, and Miklós Radnóti will make you want to ferret out their hard-to-find work. (Perhaps his publisher should put out a companion anthology...)
For a drink of written water from a spring
whose surface will xerox her soft muzzle?
Why does she lift her head; does she hear something?
Perched on four slim legs borrowed from the truth,
she pricks up her ears beneath my fingertips.
Hirsch manages to cram entire worlds and lives into 258 pages of text (which he follows up with a huge glossary and extended reading list). His two paragraphs on Juan Gelman, whose son was murdered and pregnant daughter-in-law disappeared during Argentina's "Dirty War," bring this man's art into clear, tragic focus. But even here, the compulsively generous author is compelled to enshrine the words of other critics, foregrounding Eduardo Galeano and Julio Cortázar, who describes Gelman's art as "a permanent caress of words on unknown tombs." What a pleasure it is to be inside Hirsch's head! He seems to have read everything and absorbed most of it, and he wears his considerable scholarship lightly. Many of his fellow poets have suffered for their art, have been imprisoned and killed--but above all, Hirsch makes us realize that, no matter what the artist's circumstances, subject, or theme, "the stakes are always high" in this game that writer and reader alike must keep playing. --Kerry Fried
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