All of You on the Good Earth guides the reader through chambers occupied by visionary gravediggers and spaced-out movie stars, frenzied dropouts, sullen pirates, and unrelenting stalkers, noble war correspondents and cornered dictators, unlucky drunks and supercilious scientists, impatient goddesses and sad sea monsters, self-indulgent denizens of Plutonian strip-clubs and earnest haunters of ancient ruins, the infamous Rakewell in TriBeCa and sea nymph Kalypso in a beach house at the Jersey shore, characters wandering an America demoralized by economic decline. These poems contain fasts and feasts, laments and love songs, histories, fantasies, and elegies, the amusing and heartbreaking debris of life on this world, all the while recalling Seneca’s dictum, non est ad astra mollis e terris via (“the road from the earth to the stars is not easy”).
Praise for All of You on the Good Earth:
“Hilbert is one of our best rhymers since Robert Frost, and his poems have been compared by superb poets to those of John Berryman and Robert Lowell. We haven’t had a poetry like his–both seriously tough-minded and wryly self-chiding–to enjoy and mull over for a long time.”—Alice Quinn
“‘Genes clarify the genius and the freak / And prove we descend from a feral band,’ Ernest Hilbert writes in ‘Outsider Art,’ and there is no mistaking the ‘feral’ appetite and intensity of these poems, or the bitter depths of experience they sometimes explore. What makes All of You on the Good Earth such a rare collection, however, is the way Hilbert unites that raw energy with elegant and original language, creating a style that sounds like no one else’s.”—Adam Kirsch, author of The Modern Element: Essays on Contemporary Poetry