Jane Hirshfield's urgent new collection is a book of personal, ecological and political reckoning. Her poems inscribe a ledger personal and communal, a registry of our time's and lives' dilemmas as well as a call to action on climate change, social justice and the plight of refugees. The poems of Ledger record riches, both abiding and squandered, and mourn our failures. They confirm, too, the continually renewing gift of the present moment, summoning our responsibility as moral beings to sustain one another and the earth's continuance. Finally, it is the human spirit and the language of poetry - loyal instruments of recognition, humility and praise - that triumph in this stunned, stunning accounting, set forth by a master poet whose voice is tonic and essential, whose breadth of inclusion and fierce awareness rivet attention. Hers is a poetry of clarity and hybrid vigour, drawing deeply on English and American traditions but also those of world poetry. The poetries of modern and classical Greece, of Horace and Catullus, of classical China and Japan and Eastern Europe all resonate in Jane Hirshfield's structures of thought and in her sensibilities. Indelibly of our time yet seated in the lineage of poetic discovery, these poems are meant to endure.
About the Author
Jane Hirshfield was born in 1953 in New York and lives in northern California. Her first book of poetry published in the UK was Each Happiness Ringed by Lions: Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2005), which draws on her collections Alaya (1982), Of Gravity & Angels (1988), The October Palace (1994), The Lives of the Heart (1997) and Given Sugar, Given Salt (2001). This was followed by three later collections, After (Bloodaxe Books, 2006), a Poetry Book Society Choice, which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, Come, Thief (Bloodaxe Books, 2012), and The Beauty (Bloodaxe Books, 2015), with Ledger due in 2020. In 2008 Bloodaxe published Jane Hirshfield's lectures Hiddenness, Surprise, Uncertainty: Three Generative Energies of Poetry (Newcastle/ Bloodaxe Poetry Lectures). Jane Hirshfield edited the bestselling anthology Women in Praise of the Sacred (1994), and co-translated The Ink Dark Moon: Poems by Ono No Komachi and Izumi Shikibu (1988) - another bestseller in the States - and, with Robert Bly, Mirabai: Ecstatic Poems (2004). Her own poetry was translated into Polish by Czeslaw Milosz, who also wrote the introduction to her Polish Selected Poems. She has won numerous literary awards.