Come, Thief (Hirshfield)

How come no one told me about her before? I really enjoyed this collection. Though there seem to be a few throwaways (“Three-Legged Blues” is a great throwaway) and perhaps a bit too much attention to rhyme, these poems, often reflections on mortality, are insightful, entertaining and wise. Some samples –

“How fragile we are, between the few good moments.” – from “Vinegar and Oil”

“The feeling heart does not tire of carrying ballast.”  – from “Big-Leaf Maple Standing Over Its Own Reflection”

“Let reason flow like water around a stone, the stone remains.” – from “Critique of Pure Reason” (ha!)

“Increase of reach extends reach, / but not what comes then to fill it.” – from “Heat and Desperation”

“The familiar is not safety. // Yet a horse unblinded runs back to the shape it knows burning.” – from “Red Wine is Fined by Adding Broken Eggshells”

I could continue. Highlights include, “Building and Earthquake,” “Washing Doorknobs,” “Sheep,” (a self in exile is still a self, / as a bell unstuck for years / is still a bell.) “Fifteen Pebbles,” and “When Your Life Looks Back.”

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