Ray Hinman's poems are vibrant with the tension between light and darkness, life and death, and they are a cycle of rebirth in which corpses can blossom again. It is a world built through conversations with the dead, with the voices of the literary past, allusions to the things that have come before and constructed with a clear, conscious sense that poetry is a Craft. These poems understand the value of things like aesthetics, culture and meaning. Ray Hinman understands the poet as the modern descendant of the Shaman, treading the boundary between what is forbidden and what is allowed to guide us beyond the things that distract us and drown the spirit to the transcendent and the sublime
Ray Hinman returns the strength of history and culture to language. Unashamed of thought, uninhibited by the current fashion of poetic anti-intellectualism, Hinman speaks from a foundation of tradition, yet fashions his structures with the touch and sites of nature. Definitely modern, he unites civilization across time, refuses to surrender to the triviality of high technology, though hints that our era stands out in this defiance of human greatness.His rhythms flow with the love of language's music, and like the Whitman whose ghost tours his city, he finds in the urban tableau the clues to what we search for in clustering into cities.