Tree by Jane Hirshfield

Hirshfield’s reading of “Tree” is preceded by a short but eloquent statement about the role of poetry in contemporary society that really resonated with me, as well as a few words about how she came to connect with poetry as a child. (Wish I could turn off the terrible background music, though!) This is from PlumTV. Like many prominent writers, Hirshfield doesn’t appear to have her own website, but here’s what the Poetry Foundation has for her.


  1. Reply
    Diane 2 July, 2011

    A beautiful video. Love her comments about the role of poetry and her reading of the poem. Agree, however, that the music is a defect. I think it’s an appropriate choice of background music but is too much in the foreground, so much so that it competes with Hirshfield’s words and ends up distracting rather than enhancing. I’m surprised that the video maker didn’t turn down that track a few notches.

  2. Reply
    Dave Bonta 2 July, 2011

    Yeah, I guess you’re right — if the music were a bit lower in volume, it wouldn’t be such a distraction.

  3. Reply
    Bev 13 July, 2011

    I was fortunate to meet her at IUP a few years ago. Am in aw of her work, so much so that I didn’t have the nerve to ask her to sign one of her many books I have in my library. Thank you for the video!

  4. Reply
    Anglo Sax 15 October, 2013

    What is she saying in this poem?

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