[A] lot of poetry is putting yourself back into the state of wonder
that you have before things when you're a child. It's not only
a joyous wonder, it's sometimes a grief-stricken wonder.
~ Poet Edward Hirsch
Poet, critic, and editor Edward Hirsch says that his introduction to poetry began with a misidentification — his misattribution to his grandfather of a poem written by Emily Bronte. Still, he said, he "just had the author wrong"; what mattered was what he never forgot: his response to the words themselves, which "planted in my mind that you could write poetry, that you could read poetry, that poetry could somehow console you."
In the brief but informative Big Think video interview below, Hirsch talks about his childhood's influence on his poetry writing, his memory of showing his poems to others, the best ways to learn how to write poetry, and poets he considers models for himself.
Hirsh has published, among others, the collections The Living Fire: New and Selected Poems (Knopf, Reprint 2011), Special Orders: Poems (Knopf, 2010), Lay Back the Darkness: Poems (Knopf, 2004), Wild Gratitude (Knopf, 2003), which won a National Book Critics Circle Award, The Night Parade: Poems (Knopf, 2003), and On Love: Poems (Knopf, 2000). His prose books include Poet's Choice (Mariner Books, 2007), The Demon and the Angel: Searching for the Source of Artistic Inspiration (Mariner Books, Reprint 2003), and the best-selling How to Read a Poem: And Fall in Love with Poetry (Mariner Books Reprint 2000). Among his prestigious awards are a Prix de Rome, a MacArthur Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Direct Link to "A Poet Is Born — Edward Hirsch" (At the link you'll also find a transcript.)
Edward Hirsch Poems at The Poetry Foundation: "Branch Library", "Early Sunday Morning", "Fast Break", "Fever", "How to Get Back to Chester", "I Was Never Able to Pray", "Late March", "Poor Angels", "Simone Weil: The Year of Factory Work (1934-1935)", and "The Renunciation of Poetry"
"Jhumpa Lahiri on Edward Hirsch", Poetry Society of America
Big Think on YouTube