Friday, January 09, 2009

Signs, Translations by John Hildebidle

Signs, Translations
John Hildebidle
Salmon Poetry
ISBN 978-1-903392-83-6
2008 $12.00

through out this collection of poems the poet John Hildebidle directs our senses, our translations of what family or how we are creatively influenced by our most intimate situations:

“as a child, like you I moved
never so vastly, of course,
but again and again and
until it became something
deeper than habit…”

each page is an adventure, a discovery of each object, each sign, each person or food encountered on any given day:

Specialty of the House

“it looked like nothing I’d ever eaten.
surely that word on the menu meant pork.
the waiter tried so hard to explain.
my wife smirked, visibly:
“how is it? (no innocent question.)”
“what is it, I’d like to know.”
“he told you. pig’s feet. didn’t you understand?”
we sipped some wine.
“you mean you knew what I was doing
and let me go right ahead?”
“you’re a big boy.” “and often a bigger dolt,
as you know well. I rely on you to rescue me.”
“a full-time job, and more besides.”
“all that was called for in this case was a subtle hint.”
“was it that bad?” “I won’t say, one way or another.
that’s your punishment.” “you ate it all, and it was
‘the specialty of the house.’ consider it an adventure.”

the next to the last section in the book compliments the readers expectations with ‘poems on the life of Henry David Thoreau.’

“dead summer, and the air sags from use.
his tramps persist. heavy with dust,
as if the earth rose to claim
anything fool enough to roam…”

before the reader completes the reading of these poems, you will be tempted to revisit the beginning, turning back the pages many times. Signs, Translations, will sit next to my morning coffee. I will sip both with the expectations of a pick me up

Irene Koronas
Poetry editor
Wilderness House Literary Review
Poetry editor
Ibbetson Street Press

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