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In his seventieth year, the award-winning poet looks back on what was and accepts what is, in a deeply moving and beautiful sequence about what sustains him.Beginning with "My Friends Don't Get Buried," the lament of a delinquent mourner as his friends have begun to die, and ending with the plaintive note to self "don't write elegies/anymore," Edward Hirsch takes us backward through the decades in these memory poems of startling immediacy. He recalls the black dress a lover wore when he couldn't yet know the tragedy of her burning spirit; the radiance of an autumn day in Detroit when his students smoked outside, passionately discussing Shelley; the day he got off late from a railyard shift and missed an antiwar demonstration. There are direct and indirect elegies to lost contemporaries like Mark Strand, William Meredith, and, most especially, his longtime compatriot Philip Levine, whom he honors in several poems about daily work in the late midcentury Midwest.



About the Author

Edward Hirsch

Edward Hirsch is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. He was born in Chicago in 1950 - his accent makes it impossible for him to hide his origins - and educated at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph. D. in Folklore. His devotion to poetry is lifelong. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Foundation Award, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, the Prix de Rome, and an Academy of Arts and Letters Award. In 2008, he was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. bio-imgEdward Hirsch's first collection of poems, For the Sleepwalkers (1981) , received the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University and the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets. His second collection, Wild Gratitude (1986) , won the National Book Critics Award. Since then, he has published six additional books of poems: The Night Parade (1989) , Earthly Measures (1994) ,On Love (1998) , Lay Back the Darkness (2003) , Special Orders (2008) , and The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010) , which brings together thirty-five years of poems. Hirsch is also the author of five prose books, including A Poet's Glossary (2014) , the result of decades of passionate study, Poet's Choice (2006) , which consists of his popular columns from the Washington Post Book World, and How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry (1999) , a national bestseller. He is the editor of Theodore Roethke's Selected Poems (2005) and co-editor of The Making of a Sonnet: A Norton Anthology (2008) . He also edits the series "The Writer's World" (Trinity University Press) .Edward Hirsch taught for six years in the English Department at Wayne State University and seventeen years in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Houston. He is now president of theJohn Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.



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