Tag Archives: Paul Valéry

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”

Manhattan Island from Bottom to Top; Walking as Exercise