Edward Hirsch is an American poet and critic who wrote a national bestseller about reading poetry. He has published eight books of poems, including The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (2010), which brings together thirty-five years of work. He is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York City (not to be mistaken with E. D. Hirsch, Jr.).
Hirsch was born in Chicago. He had a childhood involvement with poetry, which he later explored at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Ph.D. in folklore.
Hirsch was a professor of English at Wayne State University. In 1985, he joined the faculty at the ... more »
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Edward Hirsch Poems
A hook shot kisses the rim and hangs there, helplessly, but doesn't drop, and for once our gangly starting center boxes out his man and times his jump
In Memoriam Paul Celan
Lay these words into the dead man's grave next to the almonds and black cherries--- tiny skulls and flowering blood-drops, eyes, and Thou, O bitterness that pillows his head.
For the Sleepwalkers
Tonight I want to say something wonderful for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith in their legs, so much faith in the invisible
After a Long Insomniac Night
I walked down to the sea in the early morning after a long insomniac night. I climbed over the giant gull-colored rocks and moved past the trees,
Tonight when I knelt down next to our cat, Zooey, And put my fingers into her clean cat's mouth, And rubbed her swollen belly that will never know kittens, And watched her wriggle onto her side, pawing the air,
Fall, falling, fallen. That's the way the season Changes its tense in the long-haired maples That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
Edward Hopper and the House by the Railr...
Out here in the exact middle of the day, This strange, gawky house has the expression Of someone being stared at, someone holding His breath underwater, hushed and expectant;
At this hour the soul floats weightlessly through the city streets, speechless and invisible, astonished by the smoky blend of grays and golds seeping out of the air, the dark half-tones
Early Sunday Morning
I used to mock my father and his chums for getting up early on Sunday morning and drinking coffee at a local spot but now I’m one of those chumps.
I'm Going to Start Living Like a Mystic
Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall. The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field, each a station in a pilgrimage—silent, pondering.
Lay Back the Darkness
My father in the night shuffling from room to room on an obscure mission through the hallway. Help me, spirits, to penetrate his dream and ease his restless passage.
Don’t desert me just because I stayed up last night watching The Lost Weekend.
The Skokie Theater
Twelve years old and lovesick, bumbling and terrified for the first time in my life, but strangely hopeful, too, and stunned, definitely stunned—I wanted to cry,
What the Last Evening Will Be Like
You're sitting at a small bay window in an empty café by the sea. It's nightfall, and the owner is locking up, though you're still hunched over the radiator,
Comments about Edward Hirsch
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
In Memory of Dennis Turner, 1946-1984
A hook shot kisses the rim and
hangs there, helplessly, but doesn't drop,
and for once our gangly starting center
boxes out his man and times his jump
perfectly, gathering the orange leather
from the air like a cherished possession
and spinning around to throw a strike
to the outlet who is already shoveling
an underhand pass toward the other guard
scissoring past a flat-footed defender
who looks stunned and nailed to the floor
in the wrong direction, trying to catch sight
of a high, ...