Over The Edge

Over The Edge

Holland Park Press (UK),

88 pages

ISBN 978-1-907320-99-6


Dramatic in the best sense of the word, Over the Edge is written to be spoken and meant to be heard. With a physician’s candor and the complex perspectives of a child of survivors, Hirshhorn offers a roadmap to a vacation that few of us want to take. Warren Woessner – Rain Taxi

Taking on both the personal and metaphysical, these meticulously focused meditations grapple with love, memory, the life of the spirit and of the body, the quotidian and the profound. Hirschhorn’s poems travel to the borders of the universe and beyond; they carry us ‘over the edge’ and into the mortal void. A mature and searching work that takes you by the hand and walks with you through doubt, and darkness  into wonder and mystery.’– Jacqueline Saphra

A tough, impressive book. Such history–such histories– jammed into those taut lines. Your family’s flight from Vienna, and sorrows and strain in New York; your perilous growing up; the Syrian horrors…

It’s all striking. Your father’s story, assembled and grieved in the sequence here, is heart-wrenching, and you present it with clarity and compassion. His kaddish for you...What a turn.

I also find myself particularly gripped by A Burnt Offering. Perhaps because these last few weeks have created so many new graves, such monstrosities, which show no sign of letting up.’ – Rosanna Warren


Until the End of Time

Death I understand: my flesh rejoins the universe

like sea water escaping a cracked amphora.

The way, they say, I inhale molecules breathed out

by Jesus. Another kind of resurrection.

But how did I get here in the first place?

A little wanderer, in what green room was I waiting to come on stage? In what bardo antechamber awaiting summons, like a quantum particle kept in suspense (there) (not there)? Or, washing ashore from fathomless depths, laughing and crying with my first breath.

And where did these luscious figs come from?

A vast small book, multi-vocal, rooted in past and present , in Mittel-Europa, New York, and Lebanon, everywhere humane and brotherly in its words and vision.’ – Marilyn Hacker

In Over the Edge, Norbert Hirschhorn’s thoughtfully crafted poetry beautifully balances measured wisdom with lively curiosity about life’s complexities and contradictions. His observations are on a scale that ranges from the entire Galaxy to the inside of a snow globe or the world as seen by a house-brick; and there is always room for God to make an appearance. The many human-sized poems in this collection include a haunting sequence of dreamlike and filmic recollections of growing up in New York and some rich depictions of scenes and situations – both peaceful and perilous – set in Europe and the Middle East.’ – Michael Bartholomew-Biggs