While I have not always understood Hirschfield, I feel I took away an important aspect of being a good writer and a good person. In particular, Hirschfield points out that being a writer means being able to rid yourself of the norms in society that separate people by class, sex, gender, ethnicity, race, and so many more categories that we are put into. If I understood her correctly, then a good writer is someone who can shed themselves of all of those classifications and be able to see from every person's point of view. They are not just one thing and they are able to understand others who are very different from them, without ever really saying the word I think Hirschfield is pointing toward empathy. Even empathy, though, does not feel quite right, it feels like it is more about stripping yourself of every identity--as Dickenson did when she wore white clothes and detached herself--and being everyone and no one at the same time. Whitman, as Hirschfield mentioned, was very good at this. For those of you who have extensively studied his poem, "Song of Myself", you may know that this was one of the first poems written that broke from the traditional structure of poetry, and shared in the identities of every person. Whitman, both as man and poet, understood the importance of being connected to everyone by recognizing the importance of each individual's unique circumstance.
Before reading this chapter, I have been practicing poetry that takes the view of another person, or past or future self. I find some kind of understanding and release in being able to write and attempt to see through the eyes of the people I pretend to be. Through the eyes of my grandfather, I was able to come to terms with his final moments; through the eyes of my mother, I was able to come to terms with how it was to raise me. Hirschfield, if I am interpreting correctly, sees great potential for writers who can be no one and someone, free of labels and norms, but able to understand how they affect others.