Jane Hirshfield Entering The Mind Of Poetry Analysis

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When it comes to the question of how to think like a poet, one could answer this in many ways. My initial reaction is to say that there is no way to think “like a poet” because poets do not think alike. To be a poet, one must have something to say that is worth saying. Therefore, if all poets thought alike, then their poetry would not be that good…right? However, poetry is not completely avant-garde and formless. There are specific modes of thinking that allow one to stand out as a poet. Jane Hirshfield says “a good poem draws on the originality hidden at language-making’s core and also replenishes that originality. It flenses the dulling familiarity from words, allowing them to gleam as they did when first made” (Hirshfield, 35). This statement …show more content…
In chapter two of Jane Hirshfield’s Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, Hirshfield talks about originality. According to Hirshfield, originality has two faces, the first face being “irreducibly and creatively itself- individual, recognizable, and distinct” (Hirshfield, 33). When speaking about the second face, however, she says “Sometimes, though, we use [originality] to refer to innovation, to some quality within it previously unseen,” she goes on to describe the second face of originality as “the idea that a work, like a person, is original not because it is new in subject matter or technique but because it has the uniqueness that moistens and flares in all embodied being” (Hirshfield, 34). Like Hirshfield says, it is important to recognize the originality in writing that is not new in subject matter. Everything comes from something. The idea that only what is completely new is original does not hold water. For example, in Contemporary Poetry class, Nicole recently wrote a really amazing poem called “Tenth Plague of Egypt.” In her poem, Nicole puts a new spin on the well-known Lord’s Prayer by starting her stanza’s off with lines from the prayer. Her poem starts off with “Our father who art in Heaven. /Dad came home and fell into the couch” (1.1.1-2.). Nicole’s poem is an excellent example of originality that comes, not from new material, l but from inserting aspects of the self into a work that already

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