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Come, Thief: Poems

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Come, Thief: Poems Cover

ISBN13: 9780307595423
ISBN10: 0307595420
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A revelatory, indispensable collection of poems from Jane Hirshfield that centers on beauty, time, and the full embrace of an existence that time cannot help but steal from our arms.

Hirshfield is unsurpassed in her ability to sink into a moments essence and exchange something of herself with its finite music—and then, in seemingly simple, inevitable words, to deliver that exchange to us in poems that vibrate with form and expression perfectly united. Hirshfield's poems of discovery, acknowledgment of the difficult, and praise turn always toward deepening comprehension. Here we encounter the stealth of feelings arrival (“as some strings, untouched, sound when a near one is speaking. So it was when love slipped inside us”), an anatomy of solitude (“wrong solitude vinegars the soul, right solitude oils it”), a reflection on perishability and the sweetness its acceptance invites into our midst (“How suddenly then the strange happiness took me, like a man with strong hands and strong mouth”), and a muscular, unblindfolded awareness of our shared political and planetary fate.

To read these startlingly true poems is to find our own feelings eloquently ensnared. Whether delving into intimately familiar moments or bringing forward some experience until now outside words, Hirshfield finds for each face of our lives its metamorphosing portrait, its particular, memorable, singing and singular name.

Love in August

White moths
against the screen
in August darkness.

Some clamor
in envy.

Some spread large
as two hands
of a thief

who wants to put
back in your cupboard
the long-taken silver.

Review:

"Buddhism and aphorism, outdoor delights and indoor wisdom have all attracted readers to Hirshfield's spare and approachable lines; the poet navigates securely between praise and advice, mostly in clearly quotable form. 'Wrong solitude vinegars the soul, right solitude oils it.' 'How happy we are, how unhappy we are, doesn't matter. The stone turtle listens. The famished horse runs.' Allegorical scenes like bare stage sets introduce elegant observations in conversational free verse, in words drawn from common American speech: sometimes the results sting, sometimes they end up sweet, and sometimes they end up too sweet, faux-profound ('Hearts stop in more ways than one'). More often, though, Hirshfield (Nine Gates) can speak to many lives in just a few phrases, mixing in ancient fashion the fires of consolation with the lights of warning, as in her three-line poem 'Sonoma Fire,' which ends on 'The griefs of others — beautiful at a distance.' Admirers of Mary Oliver, of the early works of Louise Glack, and even of Kay Ryan might find more pages to cherish. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Jane Hirshfield is the author of six previous collections of poetry, a now-classic book of essays, Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, and three books collecting the work of women poets from the past. Her awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller foundations, the Academy of American Poets, and the National Endowment for the Arts; three Pushcart Prizes; the California Book Award; The Poetry Center Book Award; and other honors. Her poems appear regularly in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Poetry and have been included in six editions of The Best American Poetry. Her collection Given Sugar, Given Salt was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and After was named a “Best Book of 2006” by The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the United Kingdoms Financial Times. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Helen M Gerhardt, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Helen M Gerhardt)
To read Jane Hirshfield's seventh collection of poetry, "Come, Thief," is to be welcomed into poetry at the same time that the poems themselves suggest welcoming whatever life may bring: love, suffering, joy or sorrow. Her poems succeed because of Hirshfield's crisp and clear writing style and what can only be described as Hirshfield's spiritual outlook on the difficulties of human life. I would recommend this collection of poetry to people who say they do not like poetry. I think even skeptical readers will be surprised by the beauty, simplicity and comfort that is to be found in this collection.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Jim Ross, September 12, 2011 (view all comments by Jim Ross)
Yet again,another delightful volume of poetry from one of America's best.Her use of vocabulary can thrill,energize and force contemplation in all readers.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307595423
Subtitle:
Poems
Author:
Hirshfield, Jane
Publisher:
Knopf Publishing Group
Subject:
Single Author / American
Subject:
Poetry-A to Z
Publication Date:
20110831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
112
Dimensions:
8.64 x 6.26 x 0.61 in 0.68 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Culture
Fiction and Poetry » Poetry » A to Z

Come, Thief: Poems New Hardcover
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Product details 112 pages Knopf Publishing Group - English 9780307595423 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Buddhism and aphorism, outdoor delights and indoor wisdom have all attracted readers to Hirshfield's spare and approachable lines; the poet navigates securely between praise and advice, mostly in clearly quotable form. 'Wrong solitude vinegars the soul, right solitude oils it.' 'How happy we are, how unhappy we are, doesn't matter. The stone turtle listens. The famished horse runs.' Allegorical scenes like bare stage sets introduce elegant observations in conversational free verse, in words drawn from common American speech: sometimes the results sting, sometimes they end up sweet, and sometimes they end up too sweet, faux-profound ('Hearts stop in more ways than one'). More often, though, Hirshfield (Nine Gates) can speak to many lives in just a few phrases, mixing in ancient fashion the fires of consolation with the lights of warning, as in her three-line poem 'Sonoma Fire,' which ends on 'The griefs of others — beautiful at a distance.' Admirers of Mary Oliver, of the early works of Louise Glack, and even of Kay Ryan might find more pages to cherish. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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