Episode 30: The Microscope and the Metaphor

What does intuitive, emotional poetry have in common with rational, empirical science? On this episode, host J. D. Talasek talks to poet Jane Hirshfield and neuroscientist Virginia Sturm to understand how they came to work together, and the connections they’ve found between poetry, neural science, and society. They discuss what Hirshfield calls the “mutual delight” they’ve found between poets and scientists as they consider how the microscope and the metaphor can be used to explore the world.

Hirshfield and Sturm also explore how poetry affects the brain, and what that reveals about the science of emotions and the complex ways that humans process language. Together they connect the dots on the surprising connection between poetry, empathy, science, and policy change.

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