The Ezra Klein Show podcast

The Art of Noticing – and Appreciating – Our Dizzying World

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“Poetry is the attempt to understand fully what is real, what is present, what is imaginable, what is feelable, and how can I loosen the grip of what I already know to find some new, changed relationship,” the poet Jane Hirshfield tells me. Through poetry, she says, “I know something new and I have been changed.”

Hirshfield is the award-winning author of many books of poetry and two illuminating essay collections about what poetry does to us and in the world: “Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry” and “Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World.” Her book “Ledger” is one I gift to people most often. Hirshfield’s true talent as a poet is her singular ability to imbue the ordinary, the invisible, the forgotten with a sense of majesty and wonder. Her work is littered with lines that force you to stop, to slow down, to notice what you might have missed or overlooked.

Hirshfield’s work also raises some profound questions: What does it mean to grapple with our complicity in the climate crisis? Where does the self end and the rest of the world begin? How do we learn to desire what we previously dreaded or despised?

This is one of those conversations that is hard to describe in words. But it was truly a delight for me to be a part of. And I think you’ll enjoy it too.


The Iliad by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer


The Beauty by Jane Hirshfield

How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Living with a Wild God by Barbara Ehrenreich

The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution by C.P. Snow

Book recommendations:

Metaphors We Live By by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson

Less Than One by Joseph Brodsky

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

Thoughts? Guest suggestions? Email us at [email protected]

You can find transcripts (posted midday) and more episodes of “The Ezra Klein Show” at, and you can find Ezra on Twitter @ezraklein. Book recommendations from all our guests are listed at

“The Ezra Klein Show” is produced by Emefa Agawu, Annie Galvin, Jeff Geld, Rogé Karma and Kristin Lin. Fact-checking by Kate Sinclair. Mixing by Sonia Herrero. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Carol Sabouraud and Kristina Samulewski.

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