"Robert Hilliard’s collection of poetry carves a distinguished path for us to navigate in a world between the anguish and power of war and the beauty and innocence of love. Hilliard’s poems 'For Jo Ann: Love Senses' and 'Blind Love' shows us of the enchantment and tenderness of affection. His evocative use of language is visceral and unreeling in 'Black Blood,' written on the front lines of combat during WWII, and 'Silence.' Poems of Love and War reminds us that it is our deep, everlasting connections to each other that command our hearts and minds.
~Renuka Raghavan, Out of the Blue
Poems of Love and War
"Robert Hilliard has lived a most interesting life, and now at age 92 honors us with his first book of poems. Poems of Love and War has its share of romance ('For where I once saw many things/I now see only you'), but it is the poems he wrote as a soldier in WWII in Europe (he was at the Battle of the Bulge) and shortly thereafter that give the collection its backbone. The representative poem 'Did I see Versailles…?' shows us what war is really like from the infantry soldier’s point of view: 'There were no chateaus, no sights to pick. I’m sorry, sir, just Krauts to lick.' Hilliard is giving us a history of a generation in these poems. I’ll bet that somewhere members of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Romantic English poets he so loves are saluting him and agreeing that poetry …pierces the darkness/turns shadow into light.”
~ Tim Suermondt, Election Night and The Five Satins
" In Poems of Love and War, we can be sure that Robert Hilliard does not hold back on either. With poetic voice that ranges from deep love poems—'no parable/ or mundane speech/ for love’s literate glow' to the bare yet harsh poem of guns—'Will they kill us just for sport?'— to the warnings of a country divided—'Weep for your country/cry for your land', Hilliard gives an outstanding view of well-conceived, masterfully written poetry as only a poet who has traveled the ages can. Ripe with poetic devices, Hilliard offers poems on love, war, aging, and America, with expressive variation. This is a book I want in my collection.
~ Elizabeth Szewczyk, Fragments of Survival