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A mighty poet
on 12 January 2013
This generous and representative selection contains the full range of Hill's extraordinary work, which ranges from historical poems, to erotic allegories, and explores every stylistic variant: from traditional rhyming stanzas to free verse that bundles up mutiple viewpoints and quickly shifting subject matter.
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.