Jane Hirshfield

What a good poem hears, sees, speaks is what can only become perceptible when inner and outer intertwine. The poet’s circuitous collaboration with words is a tool for discovering how best to let those two worlds come forward and realize themselves; it is part of the ancient, ongoing game of hide and seek the universe plays. Within its silence, exile, and cunning, poetry holds both the hiding and the seeking, for both are the point. Within its thicket of indirections is shelter for the elusive, independent animals of interconnected life. They pass overhead, underfoot, in and out of the trees and the dappled light that blossoms as well in barred feathers and spotted pelts. They are such shy or bold creatures as come into poetry’s word-set nets, to be seen, to be finally eaten: to disappear into and become us, and so allow us also to become them—animal, vegetable, mineral, word, all thoroughly mysterious and known.

~ “Poetry and the Mind of Indirection”