Edward Hirsch on walking



“I love the leisurely amplitude, the spaciousness, of taking a walk, of heading somewhere, anywhere, on foot. I love the sheer adventure of it, of setting out and taking off. You cross a threshold and you’re on your way. Time is suspended. …the rhythm and pace of a walk — the physical activity — can get you going and keep you grounded. It’s a kind of light meditation. … walking seems to bring a different sort of alertness, an associative kind of thinking, a drifting state of mind.

“A walk is a way of entering the body, and also of leaving it. I am both here and there, betwixt and between, strolling along, observing things, thinking of something else. I move in a liminal space. … walking often quickens my thoughts, inducing a flow of ideas.”


— from Edward Hirsch, “ ‘My Pace Provokes My Thoughts’: Poetry and Walking,” The American Poetry Review, March/April 2011






These are precisely my own sentiments. I could have not put it better.


— Roger W. Smith

   October 2017






Edward Hirsch, a poet and author, is president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

The words “my pace provokes my thoughts” are from the French poet and essayist Paul Valéry.






See also my posts

“on walking (and exercise)”



“Manhattan Island from Bottom to Top; Walking as Exercise”


About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; classical music; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim A. Sorokin.
This entry was posted in general interest, personal health and exercise and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Edward Hirsch on walking

  1. Pete Smith says:

    Nice post; agree.

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