"The Living Fire" brings together a rich selection of the poetry of Edward Hirsch, from seven books of poetry spanning thirty-five years of writing. A poet who is also a passionate advocate of poetry, and a voracious reader, Hirsch infuses his poetry with a powerful blend of formal skill and emotional intensity, exploring his inner life, which is also a reading life, from childhood to middle age. In poems of grace and passion, "The Living Fire" struggles with the unlikely presence of the divine, with the power of art to redeem human transience, the complexity of relationships. In the poem which gives this book its title, Hirsch writes with tender observation of his cat, recalling the eighteenth-century poet Christopher Smart's cat Jeffrey, in an affirmation of the continuing meaning of poetry. 'It is Jeoffrey-and every creature like him - who can teach us how to praise - Wreathing themselves in the living fire.'