Extra hidden life, among the days

Brenda Hillman

Book - 2018

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2nd Floor 811.54/Hillman Checked In
Middletown, Connecticut : Wesleyan University Press [2018]
Main Author
Brenda Hillman (author)
Physical Description
171 pages : color illustrations ; 24 cm
  • I. The Forests of Grief & Color
  • On a Day, In the World
  • Whose Woods These Are We Think
  • All-night Crooked Moonrise over Mountain Pines
  • The Bride Tree Can't Be Read
  • Brief Walk at Salt Point Park
  • For the Lovers Abandoned in Sunlight
  • During a Suite by Gaspar Cassadó
  • Beneath a Dying Coast Live Oak
  • [& heard a humming, like the]
  • The Forests of Grief & Color
  • The Before Sleep Kind of Everything
  • Composition: Fringe Lichen: Tilde & Mãe
  • Composition: Under Cypresses, Near Big Sur
  • Of Monarchs Again, Especially the Stripes
  • So, Bacteria Also Have Their Thunder
  • Angrily Standing Outside in the Wind
  • [Untitled Day]
  • Species Prepare to Exist after Money
  • Extra Hidden Life, among the Days
  • Mountain Pond Landscape, in a Drought
  • As a Sentence Leaves Its Breath
  • Some Kinds of Forever Visit You
  • The Bride Tree Lives Three Times
  • In the Forest of Blue Aptitude
  • II. Near the Rim of the Ideal
  • A Short Rhyme for Amiri Baraka
  • A Summer Song from Old Berlin
  • Untitled & Translation to Portuguese
  • Curl of Hair in a Drawer
  • The Family Sells the Family Gun
  • Describing Tattoos to a Cop
  • Chicago Black Friday Protest Near Apple
  • Crypto-Animist Introvert Activism
  • Triple Moments of Light & Industry
  • To a Life Ended in Winter
  • Hearing La Bohème after the March
  • Near the Rim of the Ideal
  • III. Metaphor & Simile
  • IV. Two Elegies
  • The Rosewood Clauses
  • Her Presence Will Live beyond Progress
  • V. Two Odes
  • A Poem for a National Forest
  • A Poem for a National Seashore
  • Acknowledgments & Notes
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Hillman, winner of the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize for Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire, continues her sustained attention to the natural elements in her 10th and most lavish collection. Having written four previous books each addressing one of the four traditional elements of nature, here she considers wood as a fifth element, making her hieroglyphic way through "forests of grief" as might one of the book's beloved beetles, "pressing/ their whole jeweled bodies/ in the beauty of the bark." Neither simply empirical nor transcendental, Hillman's poetry takes what she calls "woodmind"-a sort of deep attention to natural processes-and applies it to notions of human action, recollection, imagination, and craft. The book includes gorgeous long-form elegies, poems of witness and social activism, and odes to the national forest and seashore. Hillman's work will find a ready audience in poets of her own generation, as well as those younger poets following in her footsteps, in whose hands the category of "ecopoetry" has exploded, sporelike, into countless unnamed species. But this book could find a larger readership, as well: "You who don't understand poetry/ Of course you do/ Stand in the shadows in a dream/ Write from where you are/ Write what you want to read." Hillman's urgent "ambulance of art" is bound to move readers to grief, outrage, and wonder. Agency: Blue Flower Arts. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

It's hard to sum up the grand sweep of this latest from Hillman (Practical Water), though her deconstruction of Robert Frost's lovely woods helps: "they are also oblique, obscure, magical, owned for profit, full of fragile unnamed species, scarce on time, time that barely exists though people base their lives on imagining it does." Thematically significant here, time dominates, as does the looming, viscerally rendered, and gorgeously obdurate natural world, both stretching out "as if/ humans were extra/ or already gone." If a cello resounds, lovers part, a hawk chatters with Amiri Baraka, and a leaf is plucked at Hegel's grave, the human gets swallowed, is indeed reflected in and defined by, barking seal pups and "drought-struggling laurel." Beyond that, "the visible is thick but the invisible is thicker," as there are answers none of us can give. VERDICT For all smart poetry readers. © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.