The Empress of Certain

The Empress of Certain
Poets Corner Press
8049 Thornton Road
Stockton, California 95209-3024, USA


ISBN-13: 978-0-9755972-7-9

Available from:

  • the poet, for $5 or £2.50 (includes postage)



“Norbert Hirschhorn displays a wide range of form, tone and subject-matter. His language is eloquent, his ideas uncommon and perceptive. The poems examine themes like exile, famine, war, atrocity, spiritual wisdom, suffering, and sacrifice. He tackles weighty issues without becoming preachy and his descriptions of horrific events never cross over into rant or melodrama. This is one of the best collections I’ve read in some time. ”

Rob MackenzieSphinx, March 2006, Fife, Scotland


“We can be grateful for the wisdom and invention of Norbert Hirschhorn’s poems, which strike precisely the right balance between feeling and intellect; their combination of learnedness and urgency is a rare thing indeed.”

David Wojahn, Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University


“This is a strange and moving book. A soul confronts the implacability of irresistible death, the evanescence and necessity of love, the ineffectuality of knowledge. There are exemplars of balance and wisdom (Master Wu Shei; The Empress of Certain) but they cannot wholly transform our life as hungry predator. The eloquence here cuts deep: ‘No happiness so wide despair cannot cross.&rdsuo; Each poem in this book is a dream, the dream in which we rehearse each night whatever we’ve learned by day that we need to survive.”

Frank Bidart, Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets