Responsive Readingby Edward Hirsch
Pub. Date: 08/15/1999
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
The collection begins with a reconsideration of the "J" author, the most
This collection brims with wide-ranging encounters and explorations, fundamental discoveries, and reconsiderations. It is a book of deep, attentive, and appreciative readings. In Responsive Reading, reading itself is treated as a creative act, an intimate, triggering, and momentous activity.
The collection begins with a reconsideration of the "J" author, the most ancient and humanly oriented writer in the Hebrew Bible, and concludes' with a memoir of the author's grandfather, whose poems (which have not survived) he has tried to envision. There is an investigation of Dante's Inferno and of a biography of Emerson. There are pieces on the Polish poets Zbigniew Herbert, Alexsander War, and Wislawa Szymborska, and on the Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai; on Derek Walcott; and on the sullen majesty of Philip Larkin. There are also pieces that follow Federico Garcia Lorca and Joseph Cornell (via Charles Simic) on forays into New York City. An award-winning essay, "The Imaginary Irish Peasant", tracks a company of Irish writers into the countryside, both a real and an imagined place, a symbol-laden territory. Indeed, all these pieces testify to a poet's sublime experience of reading.
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