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on 3 September 2016
The late Geoffrey Hill was possibly the finest living English poet, and alas he is no longer with us. This is a difficult book, but one which repays prolonged study. I had several of his individual books and it made sense to gather the poems together with this single volume.
The question is, who now is the greatest living English poet?
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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.
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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
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on 21 October 2016
Here we have practically the complete poetry of Geoffrey Hill in its definitive state. Anyone buying this collection, as I did, having been "brought up on" the Selected Poems of 1982, needs to be prepared for a disappointment: the later Hill, though vastly more fluent than in his early, pre-Prozac years, lost much of his precision and intensity and became, at times (I am sorry to say this) a garrulous bore.
There are of course still many moments of inspiration, and no lover of poetry should be without this collection. And of course one is glad for Hill on a personal level that medication was able to allay some of his demons.
Sadly, though, my overall conclusion from this work is that great poets ought not to take mind-altering drugs.
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on 19 December 2014
Challenging but worth it .
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on 30 December 2013
Well done. Great breadth of his poems. It is also a great reference book of great poetry. Thank you Geoffrey
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