on 17 May 2014
I really enjoy Hill's poetry and find I can read much of it aloud on first sight because the words flow so easily.
Some critics say he is obscure but I manage to understand at least 80% of his references because of my wide
reading, extensive travel, conversations with wise and learned people and love of history. The remainder I can
look up. The poems are full of mystery and power and just seem to get better the more of them you read
It is now among my absolute favourite books of poetry.
The only sorrow is that we are unlikely to be gifted many more
on 24 January 2014
Challenged by Hill's reputation as the greatest living poet and, particularly, as a highly allusive one, I was happy to wait over a year to get hold of his collected work (so far?) and see how it influences me. I was disappointed with the complete lack of introduction and notes - especially coming from OUP and Kenneth Haynes. (Compare this academic product with 'Geoffrey Hill - Collected Critical Writings'). I believe that part of the joy/meaning of poetry for the reader is identifying/understanding references. Something of a lost necessity then, this important book may be beyond reach for most of us - it threatens to turn a difficult Hill into an impassable mountain.