In this Book

The Fiddler of Driskill Hill
summary

Deeply rooted in personal and regional history, David Middleton's The Fiddler of Driskill Hill celebrates a particular place and the universal human experience. While evoking distinctive Louisiana landscapes, both north and south, these poems address the great philosophical and theological questions of the ages. In the title poem, a mysterious fiddler climbs Driskill Hill -- the highest point of elevation in Louisiana -- under the cover of darkness to practice his craft: "I sing what is and ought to be / And will until I die: // For that's what bow and strings are for, / To raise things up in song / Between The Fall and Paradise / And urge the world along."

Other poems contemplate loneliness and loss -- a father mourning the death of his ten-year-old daughter, a soldier's recollections of war, and a woman who, in bidding farewell to the only home she and her husband ever owned, says that she "Must walk one final time these rooms I share / With ghosts that speak and breathe in memory's breathless air." This collection reflects on the agrarian way of life, southern historical events, family, racial reconciliation, the relation between language and things, becoming and being a poet, and the experience of tragedy, death, and love.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication, Quotes
  2. pp. 2-9
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Bonfires on the Levee
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. Winter into Spring
  2. pp. 3-3
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  1. In Waking Dream
  2. pp. 4-6
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  1. The Breakers
  2. pp. 7-7
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  1. North Louisiana Country Church in Flames
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. The Singing Wires
  2. pp. 10-10
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  1. The Deep End
  2. pp. 11-11
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  1. Hand-Me-Downs
  2. pp. 12-12
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  1. Leaving Drexel Street: A Wife’s Goodbye
  2. pp. 13-14
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  1. Summer Ending
  2. pp. 15-15
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  1. In Allen Hall
  2. pp. 16-17
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  1. Upon the Publication of a First Book of Poems
  2. pp. 18-18
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  1. Warren in Thibodaux
  2. pp. 19-19
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  1. Rapture at Twilight
  2. pp. 20-20
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  1. Janitor
  2. pp. 21-21
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  1. The Courtyard Plum
  2. pp. 22-22
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  1. Before and After Reading
  2. pp. 23-23
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  1. The Fairfield Gnomes
  2. pp. 24-24
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  1. Daddy
  2. pp. 25-27
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  1. Mother among the Graves
  2. pp. 28-28
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  1. Deep Country Epitaph
  2. pp. 29-30
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  1. Two for Life
  2. pp. 31-31
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  1. In Winter Prime
  2. pp. 32-32
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  1. Black Lake Tales
  2. pp. 33-38
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  1. Flies and Grounders
  2. pp. 39-40
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  1. In the Bleak Midwinter
  2. pp. 41-42
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  1. “If I should die before I wake”: Of a Daughter Who Died at the Age of Ten
  2. pp. 43-44
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  1. The Latchkey Child
  2. pp. 45-49
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  1. Home
  2. pp. 50-50
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  1. The Farmer’s Almanac
  2. pp. 51-52
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  1. The Sniper: Last Report from a Louisianian in Lee’s Tigers
  2. pp. 53-55
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  1. Song of the Overseer
  2. pp. 56-56
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  1. The Reenactor
  2. pp. 57-57
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  1. The Given World
  2. pp. 58-63
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  1. Epiphany in Lent
  2. pp. 64-64
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  1. Parishioners
  2. pp. 65-66
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  1. White Wings: Of Kate Mulvaney, Irish Acadian Traiteur
  2. pp. 67-70
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  1. After Katrina: Noah’s Raven
  2. pp. 71-72
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  1. Hurricane Baby
  2. pp. 73-73
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  1. The Fiddler of Driskill Hill
  2. pp. 74-75
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