Where the Land Gets Broken


136 pages
ISBN 0-894800-50-8
DDC C811'.54





Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bert Almon is a professor of English at the University of Alberta. He is
the author of Calling Texas, Earth Prime, and Mind the Gap.


Walter Hildebrandt’s poetry is rooted in the local, the local in his
case being Southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, places like Brooks,
Moosejaw, and supremely, the Cypress Hills. He has a good grasp of the
history of the region, having worked as a historian for Parks Canada and
various Native groups, and many of his pages are about figures and
events (mostly Native) from the past. He is well aware of the ironies of
his title: breaking the land used to be a sign of progress rather than
of loss. Narrative poetry informed by a depth of knowledge is not all
that common, but the poetic resources of the volume are somewhat
limited. The lines are often scattered across the page, but that
doesn’t always raise the poems above the level of prose. Still, the
book will introduce a reader to the past in depth through an
authoritative guide.


Hildebrandt, Walter., “Where the Land Gets Broken,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/16380.