Jane Hirshfield points out that many people turn to poetry in times of great life transitions. She says, “You know when people fall in love, or when they lose love, or lose someone they loved, that is when they want a poem. When they get married, they want a poem. These great transitions are larger than the normal, ordinary consciousness. And what poems do is give us a vocabulary for understanding things, which isn’t available through any other use of language.” Her poetry alludes to far ranging subjects such as time, nature, and even science. Here she reads some of her poems and talks of the inspiration from which they come and why they speak to us and move us beyond our rational minds and our busy intellect through metaphors and images. She shares with us why poetry, and other art forms like music, speak so deeply to the heart and soul.
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