Empathy, first published by Station Hill Press in 1989, marked a turning point in Mei-mei Berssenbrugge's poetry, her lines lengthening across the page like so many horizons, tuned intimately to the natural world and its human relations, at once philosophical, lush, and rhythmic. As she writes in the new note for this edition, "I started to feel my way toward an intuited subliminal wholeness of composition." In these poems, empathy not only becomes the space of one person inside another, but of one element (water, or fog), one place (tundra or desert mesa), one animal (the swan) as the locus of human illumination and desire.

Product Details

Price: $16.95  $15.59
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Published Date: February 25, 2020
Pages: 80
Dimensions: 8.3 X 0.4 X 7.4 inches | 0.3 pounds
Language: English
Type: Paperback
ISBN: 9780811229401
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, including Empathy, Nest, and I Love Artists. A Lit Cloud, her recent collaboration with the artist Kiki Smith, was published by Galerie Lelong in 2012. She lives in New York City and northern New Mexico.


A dialogue of an extremely fine-tuned intelligence with the 'world.' We start out dazzled by the sheer beauty of the perceptions, the subtle music, the surprising shifts into complex inference and meditation. We end up 'flattened against our seats' gasping for breath as the poem takes off into unsuspected altitudes--or depths. Empathy is not just a fine book. It is an event. An important event.--Rosmarie Waldrop