Living Will

Poetry by David Hilton

April 1, 2007 • 6 x 9 • 98 pages • 978-1-56689-200-1

An evocative reflection of a life buoyed by the pleasures of love, friendship, literature, and travel.

In a profoundly moving re-imagining of Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” the title poem details David Hilton’s own living will, tying together an unforgettable, posthumous collection that clearly evokes the stages of a life well-lived. 

About the Author

David Hilton (1938-2005) grew up in California, spending most of his adult life in Baltimore, where he taught creative writing at Anne Arundel Community College. The author of eleven books of poetry, his work appeared in Poetry 180, an anthology edited by former poet laureate Billy Collins, and in numerous publications including the Yale Review and Poetry magazine.


“David Hilton is a nostalgist who fights for actuality; a gifted wordsmith who tries to make his wild lyric impulses behave. I see him on horseback, fighting battles of bardic futility against a cloud of arrows from his own mythical past. Each arrow is a story, each line turns into song. A tough guy, actually, brave to the end, and unsparing in his passion.” —Andrei Codrescu

“When the great Peruvian poet César Vallejo titled his collection Poemas Humanos, Human Poems, he did not imply that poems could be written by non- or anti-humans. I believe he meant to say that these were poems written by, and out of, the whole human being, without favoring any of its living parts over any other. David Hilton’s collection of poems partakes of this important tradition. It ranges through a vast spectrum of human tragicomedy, affection, and empathy, as well as plain good old joie de vivre, delight in living as long as there is life to live—and, clearly, the wish and intention to leave us, who may survive him for a while, and generations to come, with a record of a life lived well, seen and understood acutely, and written with great gentle mastery and kindness.” —Anselm Hollo