Jane Hirshfield

April 25, 2018 Hirshfield Jane



Words are loyal.
Whatever they name they take the side of.
As the word courage will afterward grip just as well
the frightened girl soldier who stands on one side of a street,
the frightened boy soldier who stands on the other.
Death’s clay, they look at each other with wide-open eyes.
And words—that love peace, love gossip—refuse to condemn them.

Jane Hirshfield‘s most recent book, Ledger (Knopf, 2020) centers on the crises of biosphere, climate, and justice. Her work, which has been translated into fifteen languages, appears in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and ten editions of The Best American Poetry.  A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and founder of Poets For Science, she was elected in 2019 to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Photo: © Curt Richter