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Given Sugar, Given Salt
Given Sugar, Given Salt
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Jane gives an overview of the book:

“What Hirshfield offers could not overtly be called love poems—and yet they are filled with ecstasy and wonder, the world made new in the fresh light of morning. Here is an all-encompassing love, shucking its reservations, liberated from its object so that it can settle at will on any object: button, clock, suitcase, ink, apple, hummingbird, elephant seal…. Given Sugar, Given Salt is about choice, and balance. It’s about how to negotiate the difficulties of living while, at the same time, paying homage to what life has to offer. The poems are penetrating; they reveal a quick intelligence and an even quicker intuition. One senses that Jane Hirshfield has achieved a kind of precarious balance in which the optimism tips the scale. Everything is fleeting—the poems are suffused by this knowledge—but even though “today’s yes is different from yesterday’s yes,” the answer...
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“What Hirshfield offers could not overtly be called love poems—and yet they are filled with ecstasy and wonder, the world made new in the fresh light of morning. Here is an all-encompassing love, shucking its reservations, liberated from its object so that it can settle at will on any object: button, clock, suitcase, ink, apple, hummingbird, elephant seal…. Given Sugar, Given Salt is about choice, and balance. It’s about how to negotiate the difficulties of living while, at the same time, paying homage to what life has to offer. The poems are penetrating; they reveal a quick intelligence and an even quicker intuition. One senses that Jane Hirshfield has achieved a kind of precarious balance in which the optimism tips the scale. Everything is fleeting—the poems are suffused by this knowledge—but even though “today’s yes is different from yesterday’s yes,” the answer is still in the affirmative.”

Judith Kitchen, The Georgia Review

(Summer, 2002, pp. 606-607)

 

“There is something subtle and new in Jane Hirshfield’s poems. It’s clear she has been grazing in the fields of possibility (especially those fields cultivated by old Buddhist farmers). She brings in the harvest from that mountain farm, many bales of grief, many bushels of smooth-flowing grain… She has absorbed the vertical line through her discipline, and it gives her poems an intensity that doesn’t kill ordinary life, nor subdue the body as some vertical studies do. The poem that best evokes those wooden rooms where the sitter spends so many years is “The Envoy”… one of the greatest poems of the last fifty years.”

--Robert Bly, The Thousands “[These] poems are at once deeply mature and unfailingly innocent; they are wise without ever being self-aggrandizing; they are complex without ever being inaccessible. They are rich with oberservation that will reveal you to yourself… They are the kind of poems that could—before you even realize it—have quietly changed your life.” --Pam Houston, O Magazine, March 2001 “Given Sugar, Given Salt, Hirshfield’s latest book of poetry, is an uncanny mix of the everyday, the exquisitely subtle, and a splash of bracing wit.” --Amy Bloom, Entertainment Weekly, 11/23/01
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Note from the author coming soon...

About Jane

Jane Hirshfield, whose work has been called “passionate and radiant” by the New York Times Book Review, is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Come, Thief (Knopf, 2011) and After (HarperCollins, 2006; Bloodaxe Books (UK), 2006), which was named...

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Published Reviews

Jan.08.2008

The Washington Post's Book World, August 6, 2006/washingtonpost.com


"Enough is not enough when it...

Aug.23.2011

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