Writers’ Almanac Interview with Jane Hirshfield
Welcome to The Writer’s Almanac Bookshelf, where you’ll find highlighted interviews of poets heard on the show.
Your new collection of essays, Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World, and your latest volume of poems, The Beauty, both came out earlier this year. Were you working on these books simultaneously? Does writing about poetry affect the writing of the poems themselves?
Thinking about poems — how they work, what they do, and why we need what they alone can do — is a lifelong pleasure for me. It brings a kind of intimate knowledge that can’t help but influence how a person then writes. Attention alters what it touches. But for me as a poet, this happens only in subterranean and indirect ways. Continue reading
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“Villages preserve culture: dress, food and dance are a few examples. As villages grow in population and turn into towns, local cafes make way for large American chains. Handmade leather sandals are discarded for a pair of Western sneakers.
Due to its small size, a village fosters a tight-knit sense of community. Justpeace.org explains the meaning of the African proverb, “It takes a village,” by stating that a sense of community is critical to maintaining a healthy society.
Village members hold a wealth of information regarding their heritage: they know about the ancient traditions, methods of production and the resources of the land. When villages become dispersed or exterminated in times of war, this anthropological knowledge disappears.
Large cities are not as conducive to growing and producing foods such as fruits and vegetables. Villages, on the other hand, usually have ample amounts of land and other resources necessary for growing conditions.” The Importance of Villages by Catherine Capozzi
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