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Teaching The World To Appreciate Poetry

999 words - 4 pages

Edward Hirsch taught everyone to love and appreciate poetry to its greatest potential. Born in Chicago on January 20, 1950, he began writing at a young age and his traditional writing style of formal with a small creative twist. He strengthened America Poetry and gave a different view of literary criticism.
Like any other eight year old boy, Hirsch loved sports, but he also fell in love with poetry. He found and read a copy of Emily Brontë’s “Spellbound” and loved it. As a child, he did not read a lot or really enjoy it, but through his mother’s coaxing with books about sports, he read. Hirsch’s grandfather helped develop his poetic skills. His grandfather wrote poetry but his was very ...view middle of the document...

Hirsch’s poetry was “shaped by a rigorous maker, proving solid enough to bear strong emotional swells and supple enough to follow the quick movements of a keen mind” (Barker 216). Hirsch wrote his poetry in a fixed villanelle form yet was creative with his volatile cadences, dramatic monologues, and “elliptical and lean lyric sequences” (Barker 216).
Edward Hirsch studied at Grinnell College and the University of Pennsylvania receiving a PhD in folklore. He went on to teach at Wayne State University and the University of Houston. After teaching for seventeen years at the University of Houston, Edward Hirsch left to focus on his writing which he began prose writing. He wrote four books which taught the reader how to read, appreciate, and how he wrote poetry. His first two books written in 1999 are Responsive Reading and How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry. The later of the two was a national bestseller and “’ a product of a lifetime of passionate reflection’” (Edward Hirsch poets.org 1) by the poet Garrett Hongo. Hirsch’s third book, The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration, was written in 2002, and Poet’s Choice, a collection of two years worth of his weekly writings for the Washington Post Book World was published in 2007. Hirsch’s books are literary criticisms of poetry but in a new way. Literary criticism before had been very academic and jargon-filled which frustrated him, “’At a certain point I decided- because I was frustrated by criticism and a little appalled by the way that poets had turned over the craft to literary theorists without advocating on behalf of their own art themselves—to change how I myself write about poetry’” (Barker 217). Hirsch in his books wrote to those that knew a lot about poetry and to those that knew very little, while writing in a democratic way as to not lower any standards. His literary criticism was...

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