by Arnold R. Highfield
The poetry in this book spans nearly thirty years and is arranged according to certain places—Princesse, St. Croix, Oentangy, Ripton, Scioto, and Vaud—where key pieces were written or inspired.
It also contains a rendering—not a straightforward translation—of Rainer Rilke’s masterwork “Requiem für eine Freundin.” The author acknowledges that early in his poetic career he developed a fascination for the poetry of Rilke and wished at sometime to become the voice through which the German master might speak to an English-speaking audience.
This is wrong, if anything be wrong;
to restrain the freedom of a love
from a greater freedom which one might offer up
It’s this alone we have in love—
to let the other go, for holding on comes so
naturally to us that we need never study it.
ARNOLD R. HIGHFIELD was born in New Boston, Ohio, but has lived most of his adult life in the Caribbean. His poetry has been published in Ethos, The Caribbean Writer, The Lyric and in the Collage series. He is professor emeritus at the University of the Virgin Islands where he published in the fields of history and linguistics. He has taught at Lycée Jaccard in Switzerland, at The Ohio State University, at Ohio Wesleyan University, and at Middlebury College. He is married to Shirley de Chabert Highfield and they have four children.