POETRY

Extra Hidden Life, among the Days

Wesleyan Univ. Feb. 2018. 152p. ISBN 9780819578051. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780819578426. POETRY
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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.

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