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.