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The Triumph of Love [Paperback]

Geoffrey Hill
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 9.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

22 Mar 2007
First published in 1998, Geoffrey Hill's The Triumph of Love and is reissued with a new introduction by Jeffrey Wainwright as part of the Poetry Book Society's Back in Print list. "Hill, always the heir of William Blake and D.H.Lawrence, more than confirms his calling as poet-prophet in The Triumph of Love. The poem is a great and difficult moral, cognitive, and aesthetic achievement - 'a sad and angry consolation' almost beyond measure." Harold Bloom. William Logan in New Criterion wrote: "Hill's poetry is the major achievement of late-twentieth-century verse." The Triumph of Love is a passionate and thoughtful response to the horrors of World War II in poetry by turns playful, punning, scorching and contemptuous. Although set in the context of the century, it ranges widely through history, literature and art. Born in 1932 in Worcestershire, Geoffrey Hill was for many years a university teacher, both in the UK and in the Unite States. In 1996 he published Canaan. The Triumph of Love was followed by Speech! Speech! (2000), The Orchards of Syon (2002), Scenes from Comus (2005) and Without Title (2006). His Selected Poems (Penguin) appeared in 2006.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Poetry Book Society (22 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0951102346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0951102343
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 741,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Avoid the PBS edition 1 Sep 2009
The PBS edition has misprints (this will seem ironic to anyone who's read the poem). It is also set in an ugly font in an ugly way. I recommend you avoid it and buy the Penguin or the Houghton Mifflin edition off Marketplace. But five stars for the poem; in fact I endorse Bromwich's high praise.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great moments marred by self-indulgence 10 Nov 2000
By A Customer
The poem opens with a striking image, but rapidly descends into allusive passages which I imagine few people would understand. I kept reading because the rhythms were seductive, and there were moments when the piece was genuinely moving, but I found it hard to understand most of it. Maybe that says more about me than the poem.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A triumph indeed 1 Jun 2001
By Nessander - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An incredible poem by a passionate and erudite poet. Written in 150 sections over 82 pages, the Triumph of Love is a poem about memory; the memory of those who have gone before us, have suffered, have made sacrifices, and the ways in which violence is done to them through the forgetting of those living today. The reader will certainly want a dictionary and encyclopedia nearby for the numerous references to historical and literary figures and the many obscure (but irreplaceable) words!

I read it through once myself, and then went back again slowly, then again looking up all the references. Each time I found new appreciation and love for this poem. It is at times beautifully lyrical, coarse, bitingly satirical, but overwhelmingly, in Hill's own words, "a sad and angry consolation". If you are familiar with Hill's other poems, you will certainly enjoy this ride. If not, you may wish to start with some of Hill's earlier works, which are also wonderful (in his "Collected Poems").
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MADDENING! 5 Sep 2009
By Donald A. Newlove - Published on Amazon.com
Out of some forty or so reviews on Amazon, this is the first time I have given a book or CD a mere three stars rather than five -- and feel humiliated to do so, because facing Hill I am intellectually short-changed. I find Geoffrey Hill in THE TRIUMPH OF LOVE crushed by the melancholy of learning -- and by history as well, and the agonies of the 20th century. Having lived through most of the 20th century, I find his references to Chamberlain and other disasters aren't beyond me. The first reviewer above (or below) says he read TRIUMPH OF LOVE three times, the third with a dictionary and an encyclopedia, and achieved satori. Much recent poetry is hard to take in on a single reading, although reading aloud helps (as I did with Hill--well, the words I could pronounce -- and I did find some personal, feelingful passages, believe me!) but upon rereading an unfamiliar poet is often moving and worth my effort -- as Hill may yet prove to be. Marina Tsvetaeva, for instance, is hard to read, her prose much less so than her verse -- although I understand that in Russian even her prose gets surreal and more demanding and distant than in English, but nonetheless I am carried away by her and seek out all her work, prose and verse. Despite my horror over TRIUMPH OF LOVE, I have ordered his SELECTED POEMS that's out this year and will give him one more chance. Even more large hearted of me, I've ordered his recent COLLECTED CRITICAL ESSAYS from the library though I am fearful, fearful, fearful of it.
8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ho, ho, ho. 24 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Geoffrey Hill's new poem is - amongst other things - an enormous "blague": "a satire upon stupidity...a weapon of the intelligence at bay". A comedy (commedia) in the fullest sense, it is packed with excruciating in-jokes, false leads and obscurities whose very purpose seems to be to satirize the insistance of our media culture on instantaneous public "accessibility". Half intimate portrait, half erudite "gotcha", the poem is by turns dazzling, exasperating and *very* funny: a prize for the patient and demanding reader, and a wet haddock in the face for everyone else (critics and academics included).
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