What an incredible book. I am not sure if I *read* this book as much as I *experienced* it. I feel as though I have been on a week-long retreat to a space somewhat beyond time and reality, though fully encompassing both.
In “Nine Gates” Jane Hirshfield takes us on a journey through language, communication, identity and community, allowing for multiple rest stops along the way. As life can sometimes feel stacked, piled and over-flowing, this book managed to re-stretch my relationship to time, as I spent leisurely hours peering into the meaning, quality and presence of poems from Greek to Asian to Modern American, and more.. Hirshfield’s flow through the various chapters is connective and fluid- and I feel that I have a new relationship to words as a result of following her path.
The book explores not just literary devices and history, but the roles that attention, concentration and purpose play in writing. I would highly recommend it to anyone wishing to go on a poetic journey with a masterful guide.