Acceptable WordsEssays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill

Acceptable WordsEssays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill

Jeffrey Wainwright

Print publication date: 2012

ISBN: 9780719067549

Publisher: Manchester University Press

Abstract

Geoffrey Hill has said that some great poetry ‘recognises that words fail us’. This book explores his struggle over fifty years with the recalcitrance of language. It seeks to show how all Hill's work is marked by the quest for the right pitch of utterance whether it is sorrowing, angry, satiric or erotic. The book shows how Hill's words are never lightly ‘acceptable’ but an ethical act, how he seeks out words he can stand by—words that are ‘getting it right’. It is a comprehensive critical work on Geoffrey Hill, covering all his work up to Scenes from Comus (2005), as well as some poems yet to appear in book form.