A Lesson in Reality: Poems and Essays


David Hill was a poet, pianist, organist, and composer of music. Some of his works were published during his lifetime, but at the time of his death at the age of forty-seven in 2004, he left many unpublished items, both in manuscript and in his computer.

The title of his computer disc suggests that he intended to publish his collected poems under the title of A Lesson in Reality. This title is therefore used for this collection of his poems and essays. The longest poem in the collection is “The Maker and the Poet.” Hill planned to set this poem to music in the form of a cantata.

Most of the poems in this collection were undated, but they were probably written between 1991 and 1994. One was written in 1996, as a gift to his aunt Barbara (Zimmermann) Johnson, and one was written for his mother in 2000.

The poems and essays are divided into thematic sections for the convenience of the reader. They are generally presented within each section in the order that they were found in the poet’s papers, although they were not arranged in chronological order.

David Hill enjoyed long trips on his bicycle and he often camped alone in the woods. All of this suddenly came to an end in 1994, when he tripped and fell against the sharp edge of a table. His carotid artery was bruised and he had a devastating stroke, which resulted in paralysis of his dominant left arm and severe disfunction of his left leg. His recovery was slow and incomplete, and he was depressed and suicidal. With help from others, he developed serenity, which is reflected in his poetry. He died in 2004 of complications from the stroke.

David Hedgcock Hill; George J. Hill, M.D., editor

2022, 6x9, paper, 104 pp.

ISBN: 9780788423963