The name of the title poem—“Brother Salvage: a genizah,” provides a skeleton key to unlock the powerful forces that bind Rick Hilles’s collection. A genizah is a depository, or hiding place, for sacred texts. It performs a double function: to keep hallowed objects safe and to prevent more destructive forces from circulating and causing further harm. Brother Salvage serves exactly this purpose. The poems are heartrending and incisive, preserving stories and lives that should not be forgotten. Yet, through the poet’s eloquent craft, painful histories and images are beautifully and luminously contained. Like scholars sifting through ancient genizahs in search of spiritual and historical insights, readers immersed in Brother Salvage will find, at the heart of the book, the most sacred entity: hope.
About the Author
Rick Hilles teaches courses in poetry at Vanderbilt University. He has been the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Scholar, a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, and the Ruth and Jay C. Halls Fellow at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has received the Larry Levis Editor’s Prize in Poetry from The Missouri Review. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Nation, The New Republic, Ploughshares, Salmagundi, and Witness.
Table of ContentsContents I Antique Shop Window, Kraków Amchu Brother Salvage: a genizah The Last Blue Light Lament for My Brother The Insomnia Room Song for an Empty Hand Yom HaShoah in Florida II Preparing for Flight Flashlight Stories III All Souls’ Eve The Dangerous Light Insleave for A Hieroglyphic Key to Spiritual Mysteries: Published Posthumously in Stockholm, 1784 The Four-Legged Man Visions of Captivity: Neulengbach, 1912 IV Poem Buried in a Line by Paul Éluard Artisans of the Tomb Figure Painting at the School of Fallen Angels Novalis A Brief Folklore of Typography A Visionary’s Company Notes Acknowledgments