Selected Poems Hardcover – 31 Mar 2009
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England's most important living poet (Times)
Hill so entirely eclipses most of his contemporaries that it seems meaningless to rank in relation to them. Trumpets should be blown, garlands made ... loquacious, playful, wildly comic ... poignant. His greatness is as certain as that of the poets he invokes (Daily Telegraph)
Whatever the densities of Hill's expression, or the powerful impacted forces in his syntax and rhythms, this poetry achieves a strength, memorability and precision beyond the abilities of any other poet writing in English (TLS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Geoffrey Hill is the author of eleven books of poetry. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the Hawthornden Prize, the Heinemann Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize. He resides in Cambridge, England.
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Top Customer Reviews
The newer verse is more difficult to grasp than the earlier work, but once you get into it, it's a more authentic voice than the beautifully polished material he created in the 50s and 60s.
'Mercian Hymns', which mixes up his West Midland childhood, is both brialliant and funny.
Hill certainly adheres to a concept of high culture - he isn't for those who don't also care about history and religion and culture - but actually he does embody what is normally unspoken in our society: a deep disgust at politics, anger at our political leaders (and their 'service counsel') and reflections on our Empire and the two world wars which destroyed it, from the perspective of soneone who can remember Coventry burning.
Close fans of his work should note that this edition contains some revisions; from the off, for example, one notices that the revised opening of the first poem, 'Genesis', with its first stanza docked from three lines to two, is offered instead of the original. None of this much matters, however.
The only striking omission – the only thing keeping my review from a 5* – is 'In Memory of Jane Fraser', Hill's beautiful metrical elegy, sometimes subtitled 'An Attempted Reparation'. It's one of my favourite poems of all time, and while this alone should not warrant lost marks generally for the book, from an unbiased perspective it seems a major Hill poem to exclude, nonetheless. Hill has found it irksome over the years, however, so this may explain the lacunae.
I can recommend it if you like serious poetry.
I find that Mr. Hill has progressed from a highly formal, carefully structured verse form to a looser, more boldly imaginative vernacular which is highly reminiscent, to my mind, of the transition made in Robert Lowell's writing career with equivalent results. Both are major poets who have shaped the way verse can be written and daringly re-imagined themselves in mid-career.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was expecting for Geoffrey Hill's poems to be hard work. Unfortunately they proved too hard for me. It's gone to the charity shop after I read the first two book extracts.Published on 10 Feb. 2013 by Mr. T. D. Williams