100 of the most moving and inspiring poems of the last 200 years from around the world, a collection that will comfort and enthrall anyone trapped by grief or loneliness, selected by the award-winning, best-selling, and beloved author of How to Read a Poem
Implicit in poetry is the idea that we are enriched by heartbreaks, by the recognition and understanding of suffering—not just our own suffering but also the pain of others. We are not so much diminished as enlarged by grief, by our refusal to vanish, or to let others vanish, without leaving a record. And poets are people who are determined to leave a trace in words, to transform oceanic depths of feeling into art that speaks to others.
In 100 Poems to Break Your Heart, poet and advocate Edward Hirsch selects 100 poems, from the nineteenth century to the present, and illuminates them, unpacking context and references to help the reader fully experience the range of emotion and wisdom within these poems.
For anyone trying to process grief, loneliness, or fear, this collection of poetry will be your guide in trying times.
About the Author
EDWARD HIRSCH is a celebrated poet and peerless advocate for poetry. A MacArthur fellow, he has published ten books of poems and six books of prose. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Rome Prize, a Pablo Neruda Presidential Medal of Honor, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for literature. He serves as president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and lives in Brooklyn.
"Who will reach for this assemblage of poems meant to break our hearts? Those who know that solace can be found in poetry and its assurance that one is not alone in facing heartbreak and loss, which is visited upon us in new and crushing ways in the time of COVID-19. Another draw is Hirsch himself, of course, a consummate poet all-too fluent in grief, whose radiant books about poetry have guided readers to a deeper appreciation for this endlessly surprising and affecting literary form. Each profoundly arresting poem is accompanied by a succinct yet passionate essay masterfully combining biography and commentary. Hirsch has selected lyrics confronting sorrow engendered by the death of a loved one, war, genocide, exile, violence, racism, and other crimes against humanity...darkly illuminating."--Booklist, starred review