A NOTE FROM JON JOSEPH ON HIS UPCOMING VISIT WITH JANE HIRSHFIELD

Jon Joseph shares writings from Jane Hirshfield’s newest book, The Asking: New and Selected Poems, in advance of her visit in the Zen Luminaries Series on March 27th:

I take in the world through image, phrase and metaphor. Poems are a hybrid between the narrative of fiction, the plot line of music, orchestrating the feelings so gorgeously, and paintings which you take in all at once and which gradually change you.

A poem is a field of discovery. It is not the record of something I already know. It is the record of exploration for alchemical transformation or for a pot a rice. The cooking pot is us.

Once in a dream someone asked me, “Why do you write?” I responded, “Because everything is alive.”

I feel this tremendous gratitude for being alive. I have a great debt to this extraordinary existence in which I am able to be part of in this brief lifetime. How lucky it is to breathe in this air, to see this mountain.

About Jane Hirshfield

Jane Hirshfield is one of America’s leading poetic voices. She has published ten volumes of poetry, including her latest, The Asking: New and Selected Poems, as well as several collections of essays and translations that highlight women’s writing throughout the ages. For a half century, Zen Buddhist practice has been a central stream in Jane’s life and work.