Down The Highway A Peace
by Richard J Hilber
My brother, Richard J. Hilber (Rick), has been writing poems for as long as I can remember. He has had a poem published here and there over the years and he has published a few on his Blog and read others in public venues. Now he has published a book length collection that is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle formats.
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One theme of these poems is a fascination with the prairie. As you travels west from Fargo North Dakota you soon approach an line of hills rising 200 to 300 feet from the valley floor. Geologists call this the Pembina Escarpment. As your road winds up these hill you be entering the middle plateau of the Great Plains called the "Drift Prairie". If you were to continue west of Jamestown you would come to another wall of 300 foot high hills called the Missouri Escarpment. However if you turn south at Jamestown and follow the James River south you will come to the little town where Rick was born and I grew up wandering the prairie and finding ancient campgrounds and arrow heads and wondering what life was like centuries before in this fascinating land. Many of Rick's poems celebrate the beauty of this land and the animals and people that live here now and lived here over the centuries.
When Rick, I and several of our sibling began researching our family tree we discovered that our parent's and grandparent's had been keeping a kind of wall of silence about the origins of my mother's family. I remember encountering it as a college student asking my maternal grand parents about their parents. I remember thinking at the time that perhaps one or both families had been illegal emigrants and fear had led to this silence. "They were French" seemed to be the extent of the information they were willing to provided. Years later advances in technology made genealogical information more accessible we began to confirm that our "French" ancestors included Native Americans.
This discovery helps explain a second theme in these poems. The struggles of the natives of the prairies with the European emigrants took on new meaning after learning of our ancestral link to them. Several of Rick's poems explore some of these struggles in Minnesota and the Dakotas.
This book is available in hardback, paperback and Kindle format. Click the link below to price or order the book