Best 121 of Jane Hirshfield quotes - MyQuotes

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Jane Hirshfield
By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I travel as much as I do. It isn't the life I expected. I don't know what dust of pollen will come back with me from these travels.But I must trust that I will not treat frivolously the glimpses I've been given into other places and others' lives.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I'd say that the middle stanza is closer: that's the place where the poem ranges unexpectedly into a different realm.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

At another level, though, poems can craft an eraser - we can't revise the past, but poems allow us some malleability, an increased freedom of response, comprehension, feeling. Choice, what choices are possible for any given person, is another theme that's run through my work from the start.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

At some point I realized that you don't get a full human life if you try to cut off one end of it, that you need to agree to the entire experience, to the full spectrum of what happens.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

A tree lives on its roots. If you change the root, you change the tree. Culture lives in human beings. If you change the human heart the culture will follow.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Leave a door open long enough, a cat will enter. Leave food, it will stay.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

There is no paradise, no place of true completion that does not include within its walls the unknown.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Zen pretty much comes down to three things -- everything changes; everything is connected; pay attention.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

How sad they are, the promises we never return to. They stay in our mouths, roughen the tongue, lead lives of their own.

By Anonym 19 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

To plunge one thing into the shape or nature of another is a fundamental gesture of creative insight, part of how we make for ourselves a world more expansive, deft, fertile, and startling in richness.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

There is a door. It opens. Then it is closed. But a slip of light stays, like a scrap of unreadable paper left on the floor, or the one red leaf the snow releases in March

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

To Hear the Falling World Only if I move my arm a certain way, it comes back. Or the way the light bends in the trees this time of year, so a scrap of sorrow, like a bird, lights on the heart. I carry this in my body, seed in an unswept corner, husk-encowled and seeming safe. But they guard me, these small pains, from growing sure of myself and perhaps forgetting.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

How fragile we are, between the few good moments.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Standing Deer As the house of a person in age sometimes grows cluttered with what is too loved or too heavy to part with, the heart may grow cluttered. And still the house will be emptied, and still the heart. As the thoughts of a person in age sometimes grow sparer, like the great cleanness come into a room, the soul may grow sparer; one sparrow song carves it completely. And still the room is full, and still the heart. Empty and filled, like the curling half-light of morning, in which everything is still possible and so why not. Filled and empty, like the curling half-light of evening, in which everything now is finished and so why not. Beloved, what can be, what was, will be taken from us. I have disappointed. I am sorry. I knew no better. A root seeks water. Tenderness only breaks open the earth. This morning, out the window, the deer stood like a blessing, then vanished.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Habit, laziness, and fear conspire to keep us comfortably within the familiar.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

"And" seems to me closest. "And" nods toward the real. And "and" is the path to perspective. To feel and see from more angles and know all of them true, even the incomprehensible ones, even the ones that contradict one another.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Art-making is learned by immersion. You take in vocabularies of thought and feeling, grammar, diction, gesture, from the poems of others, and emerge with the power to turn language into a lathe for re-shaping, re-knowing your own tongue, heart, and life.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Poems give us permission to be unsure, in ways we must be if we are ever to learn anything not already known. If you look with open eyes at your actual life, it's always going to be the kind of long division problem that doesn't work out perfectly evenly. Poems let you accept the multiplicity and complexity of the actual, they let us navigate the unnavigable, insoluble parts of our individual fates and shared existence.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Sam Hamill is a writer unabashedly taking his place within the community of literature and the community of all sentient beings-his fidelity is to the magnificent truth of existence, and to its commensurate singing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I've gone to Yaddo many times, I've worked at the Rockefeller Foundation's Center for Scholars and Artists in Bellagio. That these are places of beauty and of changed landscape is helpful - but far more important for me is that they offer what I feel as a monastic luxury: undisturbed time.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Any artist, in any field, wants to press deeper, to discover further. Image and sound play are among the strongest colors available to poetry's palette. For a long time, I've wanted to invite in more strangeness, more freedom of imagination. Yet music, seeing, and meaning are also cohering disciplines. They can be stretched, and that is part of poetry's helium pleasure. But not to the point of breaking.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

In the dream life you don't deliberately set out to dream about a house night after night; the dream itself insists you look at whatever is trying to come into visibility.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

So much of our lives depends on accidents of birth, time, and geography. This haunts me. In some lives, few "or"s are possible. The pain of that is behind the second stanza of this poem.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I need more and more silence, it feels. Poems don't leap into my mind when I'm distracted, turned outward, with other people, listening to music.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

as some strings, untouched, sound when no one is speaking. So it was when love slipped inside us.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

A poem's essential discovery can happen at a single sitting. The cascade of discoveries in an essay, or even finding a question worth exploring in one, seems to need roughly the time it takes to plant and harvest a crop of bush beans.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The Cloudy Vase Past time, I threw the flowers out, washed out the cloudy vase. How easily the old clearness leapt, like a practiced tiger, back inside it.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Zen taught me how to pay attention, how to delve, how to question and enter, how to stay with -- or at least want to try to stay with -- whatever is going on.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The heart's actions are neither the sentence nor its reprieve. Salt hay and thistles, above the cold granite. One bird singing back to another because it can't not.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Everything has two endings- a horse, a piece of string, a phone call. Before a life, air. And after. As silence is not silence, but a limit of hearing.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

At some unnoticed moment, I began to understand that a life is written in indelible ink.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

An ordinary hole beside a path through the woods might begin to open to altered worlds.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

This garden is no metaphor - more a task that swallows you into itself, earth using, as always, everything it can.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Hyesims poems: transformative as walking high granite mountains by moonlight, with fragrant herbs underfoot and a thermos of clear tea in the backpack. Their bedrock is thusness, their images beauty is pellucid and new, their view without limit. The shelf of essential Zen poets for American readers grows larger with this immediately indispensable collection.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Evolution tells us how to survive; art tells us how it's possible still to live even while knowing that we and all we love will someday vanish. It says there's beauty even in grief, freedom even inside the strictures of form and of life. What's liberating isn't what's simplest; it's the ability to include more and more shadows, colors and possibilities inside any moment's meeting of self and world.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

History, mythology, and folktales are filled with stories of people punished for saying the truth. Only the Fool, exempt from society's rules, is allowed to speak with complete freedom.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Life is short. But desire, desire is long.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The nourishment of Cezanne's awkward apples is in the tenderness and alertness they awaken inside us.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Poems allow us not only to bear the tally and toll of our transience, but to perceive, within their continually surprising abundance, a path through the grief of that insult into joy.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Poems offer us counter-knowledges. They let us see what is invisible to ordinary looking, and to find in overlooked corners the opulence of our actual lives. Similarly, we usually spend our waking hours trying to be sure of things - of our decisions, our ideas, our choices. We so want to be right. But we walk by right foot and left foot.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Poems . . . are perfume bottles momentarily unstopped - what they release is volatile and will vanish, and yet it can be released again.

By Anonym 18 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The heat of autumn is different from the heat of summer. One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider." [Autumn]

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I thought I would love you forever—and, a little, I may, in the way I still move toward a crate, knees bent, or reach for a man: as one might stretch for the three or four fruit that lie in the sun at the top of the tree; too ripe for any moment but this, they open their skin at first touch, yielding sweetness, sweetness and heat, and in me, each time since, the answering yes.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

How fine is the mesh of death. You can almost see through it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Go back to The October Palace, which came out in 1994, and there are poems with windows, doors, the rooms of the gorgeous and vanishing palace that is this ordinary world and ordinary life. Jungian archetype would say the house is a figure for the experienced, experiencing self.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

When Your Life Looks Back, When your life looks back-- As it will, at itself, at you--what will it say? Inch of colored ribbon cut from the spool. Flame curl, blue-consuming the log it flares from. Bay leaf. Oak leaf. Cricket. One among many. Your life will carry you as it did always, With ten fingers and both palms, With horizontal ribs and upright spine, With its filling and emptying heart, That wanted only your own heart, emptying, filled, in return. You gave it. What else could do? Immersed in air or in water. Immersed in hunger or anger. Curious even when bored. Longing even when running away. "What will happen next?"-- the question hinged in your knees, your ankles, in the in-breaths even of weeping. Strongest of magnets, the future impartial drew you in. Whatever direction you turned toward was face to face. No back of the world existed, No unseen corner, no test. No other earth to prepare for. This, your life had said, its only pronoun. Here, your life had said, its only house. Let, your life had said, its only order. And did you have a choice in this? You did-- Sleeping and waking, the horses around you, the mountains around you, The buildings with their tall, hydraulic shafts. Those of your own kind around you-- A few times, you stood on your head. A few times, you chose not to be frightened. A few times, you held another beyond any measure. A few times, you found yourself held beyond any measure. Mortal, your life will say, As if tasting something delicious, as if in envy. Your immortal life will say this, as it is leaving.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

I want to understand the piers of language and music and comprehension that can hold up a building even when what the building houses is an earthquake. This thinking must surely come into the poems I write, but more by osmosis than will.

By Anonym 14 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

The creative is always an act of recombination, with something added by new juxtaposition—as making a spark requires two things struck together.

By Anonym 15 Sep

Jane Hirshfield

Your fate is to be yourself, both punishment and crime.