Fortress

Overview

In the title poem “Fortress”, the medieval walled castle is the stronghold in which the family dwells. There are stories here of people in the “fortresses” of the self, the city, or the natural world.

All these poems have in common a lyrical approach to solitude (“the only protection / against death/ was to love solitude”) and an ironical vision for which love of beauty and the longing for the world are the cure. Hillman combines the imagistic with narrative; in her poems ...

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Overview

In the title poem “Fortress”, the medieval walled castle is the stronghold in which the family dwells. There are stories here of people in the “fortresses” of the self, the city, or the natural world.

All these poems have in common a lyrical approach to solitude (“the only protection / against death/ was to love solitude”) and an ironical vision for which love of beauty and the longing for the world are the cure. Hillman combines the imagistic with narrative; in her poems lyricism wars with irony; the solitary noticing consciousness is in control – because the observed world seems beautiful to the observer, great joy is possible despite the sense of difficulty or sorrow.

The language here is rich and elegant. Truth is relentlessly addressed.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
"Beautifully nuanced poems explore the nervous geography we must all inhabit"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819511683
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 1/1/1989
  • Series: Wesleyan Poetry Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 84
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

BRENDA HILLMAN began writing poetry when she was a child in Tucson. She is the author of Coffee, 3 A.M. (1982), and two other books of poetry published by Wesleyan University Press, White Dress (1985) and Fortress (1989). Her work has won the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award for Poetry, the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Prize, an NEA fellowship, the Silver Medal for Poetry from the Commonwealth Club, and the Jerome Shestack Prize for best poems published in American Poetry Review. She lives in Kensington, California, and teaches at St. Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

Brenda Hillman teaches writing at St. Mary's College in Moraga, CA. Her other books, all published by Wesleyan, include Cascadia (2001), Loose Sugar (1997), Death Tractates (1992), and Bright Existence (1992).

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