Posted by: Through the Eyes of Women | December 2, 2012

December 3, 2012: Host Corinne Frugoni Interviews Award Winning Poet Jane Hirshfield

563_jhirs2Jane Hirshfield is among the most honored of American poets.  She is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Come Thief published in August 2011.  Her book of essays Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry has become a resource used by teachers and professors from high school to the most advanced graduate programs.  She has edited 4 books of women’s poetry from the past including The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Komachi and Shikibu among others. Jane Hirshfield’s work has appeared  in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, The American Poetry Review, The Nation as well as 6 editions of The Best American Poetry. Hirshfield’s honors and awards recognize the consistent excellence of her work.   In 2004, The American Academy of American Poets awarded Jane Hirshfield the 70th Academy Fellowship for distinguished poetic achievement, an honor held by such poets as Robert Frost, William Carlos Williams and Elizabeth Bishop. This year she was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Her life of grace and passion is reflected in her work.

During this interview, Jane Hirshfield shares the following poem.

For What Binds Us
There are names for what binds us:
strong forces, weak forces.
Look around, you can see them:
the skin that forms in a half-empty cup,
nails rusting into the places they join,
joints dovetailed on their own weight.
The way things stay so solidly
wherever they’ve been set down —
and gravity, scientists say, is weak.
And see how the flesh grows back
across a wound, with a great vehemence,
more strong
than the simple, untested surface before.
There’s a name for it on horses,
when it comes back darker and raised: proud flesh,
as all flesh
is proud of its wounds, wears them
as honors given out after battle,
small triumphs pinned to the chest —
And when two people have loved each other
see how it is like a
scar between their bodies,
stronger, darker, and proud;
how the black cord makes of them a single fabric
that nothing can tear or mend.
 ~ Jane Hirschfield ~
(Of Gravity & Angels)

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