Thursday, September 24, 2020

Reckoning and a new start …

… A. E. Stallings on Ernest Hilbert’s Last One Out | B O D YB O D Y. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Hilbert is enjoying, mid-career, a new formal freedom, and with it, wider territory to cover, or perhaps vice versa. Sonnets still pop up (Hilbert even has an eponymous sonnet form, the Hilbertian sonnet), but there are couplets, quintets, sestets, 12-liners, and nonce forms. Hilbert rhymes when he chooses, but rarely seems hemmed in by a pattern or perfection, often opting for consonantal rhymes that hearken back to Heaney. The effect of his in-formed but un-rigid rubato and syncopation is musical. When he does perfect rhyme, it is often to pack a punch,

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