Thursday, February 16, 2006

Hill of Difficulty

Went to hear Geoffrey Hill read tonight.

He gave a great reading - serious, funny, heart breaking, daft. All those things. Beautiful Helena told me afterwards that it was like going back in time and listening to the Third Programme. Not, she added, that I would remember what this was. [She's right, I don't remember - while we're back on the age thing.]

The quotation gauge is always a good indication of how much you like a poet - and Geoffrey Hill comes out high on the range. 'Against the burly air I strode, where the tight ocean heaves its load, crying the miracles of God...', 'By blood we live, the hot, the cold, to ravish and redeem the world. There is no earthly myth will hold.' 'September fattens on vines. Roses flake from the wall. The smoke of harmless fires drifts to my eyes. This is plenty. This is more than enough.'

I suspect he might not be the best company at breakfast. But hey, you can't have everything in life.


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