Special Orders: Poems

These poems from Edward Hirsch, a mature and accomplished poet, are remarkable for the way jubilation arises from them, even through the usual heartbreak that poems are often designed to carry.

The book is divided into two equal parts, under the headings “More Than Halfway” and “To the Clearing.” The reader is struck by how often the poems finish with something other than irony or the thud of dead-end existence, something other than a bitter or jarring end-stop of disappointment. Rather, it is as if the poet—who is in his late 50s—discovers clearings of one kind and another in his memories and in his art. Out of some of these clearings joy emerges.


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