“The past is treacherous,” Leonore Hildebrandt says in one of her fine poems haunted by history, hinting at war, imminent danger, the need to protect the vulnerable. She also asks, “How do I choose my story without inventing?” And her answer comes in poems that evoke more than they declare, question and suggest more than they assume. The Next Unknown is a book full of smart, rich, elusive and formally elegant poems, drawn from the past and addressing the present, making it from one margin to another “via lines of color,” as she says in another poem, while “leaving spaces, at the end, for air.”
Leonore Hildebrandt calls her book The Next Unknown as though her book's title should really be an after-title, could really be instantly a known state of metaphysical complication sometimes called the unknown. Her poems are clear arguments that spring from and attach to one another; they pull apart and piece together in new, previously unknown, combinations. This is a carefully made, generous book that never forgets someone is reading it. A poem says: “...is nothing asserting itself, insisting/not to be lost? And you and I, watching?”
Poetry that sees into the life of things, the freedom with which they swerve, their moral and mortal grandeur, how wonderfully they fall. The integrity is dazzling.
Pecan Grove Press, 2014