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Customer Review

16 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poetry Please!, 25 May 2008
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This review is from: Selected Poems (Paperback)
A huge disappointment. Starts off presciently with dazzling pieces from Hill's earliest work (For the Unfallen), then (with one or two exceptions) rapidly descends into impenetrable, autistic, verbiage which, sadly, is not intended to be illuminating. Hill is constipated with complex, tortuous ideas, which he is unable to translate into verse. But this is just as well because he does not consider his readers worthy of his thoughts. A big question mark continues to hang over Hill's credentials. His Selected Poems do not help his cause.
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Showing 1-10 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 31 May 2009 14:47:33 BDT
The idea that poetry should transmit ideas easily, as if the reader were a sort of highly temperamental digestive tract, is one that irritates and interests me in equal measure.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jun 2009 23:11:58 BDT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jun 2009 23:16:22 BDT
Dr Dee says:
I have no problems about grappling with difficult or demanding poetry, only with verse that, ultimately, is impossible to make any sense of. There is too much of the latter in Hill's work, alas.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jun 2009 20:48:58 BDT
Which particular poems or collections do you have in mind? I'm still catching up on Hill, but I wouldn't say this is true of Canaan, for instance. Speech Speech?

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jun 2009 14:29:19 BDT
Dr Dee says:
Hats off if you don't find Canaan a difficult collection! Presumably you breezed through a piece like "Whether Moral Virtue Comes by Habituation"!!

Speech! Speech! is appallingly difficult - if not down right indecipherable.

And the question remains: does Hill give us a genuine poetical experience or just the satisfaction of solving particularly difficult cryptic clues?

Posted on 15 Jul 2009 11:24:09 BDT
I am obsessed with Hill. I don't find him difficult anymore.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Jul 2009 16:04:24 BDT
Dr Dee says:
How did you get on with his poem: "Whether Moral Virtue Comes by Habituation"?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2009 20:35:18 BDT
D. Wright says:
Since when has the medical diagnostic term "Autistic" been used in literary criticism? As the proud parent of a 4 year-old autistic boy I find your hijacking of the term a little crass. If you think Hill is cold, emotionless and prone to writing overly complex or allusive poems: just say so.
Perhaps I'm overly sensitive in these matters but autism is a desperately misunderstood condition by society at large.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 12:41:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Oct 2009 14:31:25 BDT
Dr Dee says:
I think you are being a little over sensitive. My use of the word "autistic" above is not intended to be derogatory towards those who have autism as a medical condition - not at all. I used the word in order to suggest that Hill has difficulties connecting with the vast majority of his readers - even those who are desperately sympathetic to his work. I think most people will have understood that I was employing the word in this sense. Apologies for any misunderstanding.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 16:21:50 BDT
Last edited by the author on 23 Aug 2009 16:25:54 BDT
Oh dear,oh dear. "Doth a bird deprived of wings / Go earthbound willingly!"

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2009 16:26:50 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 23 Aug 2009 16:27:09 BDT]
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