Edward Hirsch 1950–
American poet, short story writer, and critic.
Hirsch has been praised as a sophisticated and promising young poet. The poems of his first collection, For the Sleepwalkers (1981), have received acclaim for their disciplined structure and their imaginative play with words and images. Hirsch's indebtedness to such major poets as Rainer Maria Rilke, Marianne Moore, and Federico García Lorca, as well as to such visual artists as Henri Matisse and Paul Klee, is evident throughout For the Sleepwalkers. While a few critics have found this volume uneven, exaggerated, or pretentious, most consider it remarkably polished for a first collection, noting especially the strikingly precise images and the strong, convincing metaphors. Jay Parini describes one poem as "vivid, musical, and richly allusive," and Phoebe Pettingell notes that while the poems in For the Sleepwalkers vary in quality, Hirsch's "failures suggest promise, and at his best he speaks with authority."
(See also Contemporary Authors, Vol. 104.)