Tag Archives: Poetry and the Fate of the Senses

The Focus Gate Opens: Reflections on Jane Hirschfield’s “Poetry and the Mind of Concentration”

My peers and professors kept recommending Jane Hirschfield’s Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry to me, and with this class I found the ideal exploration space for this collection of essays. I read Susan Stewart’s Poetry and the Fate of the Senses previously, which she wrote in a density close to that of black holes, as well as Stephen Dunn’s Best Words, Best Order, written in a more clear diction. Maybe one reason for putting off Hirschfield’s book was the concern that it would approach Stewart’s complexity as opposed to Dunn’s clarity. I do not shy away from complex theory, I enjoy it, but find that along with that complexity comes a requirement for time spent contemplating. Continue reading

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Voice and the Sounds of Poetry

The ability to verbalize brings us out of the darkness. To express the self and find others who express the self removes isolation and argues for our humanity. The sounds to be made in the creation of a poem are at the root of the art. Stewart points out these things in “Sound” (59-105), and she emphasizes the necessity of verbalization in the creation of an individual. (As a side-note, in her summary of Dennett’s treatise, it is interesting that the theoretical cyborg or even the realistic intelligent ape qualify in the status of personhood (61-2)). Continue reading