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Afterword: ‘“I have not finished”’

Afterword: ‘“I have not finished”’

Chapter:
(p.136) 11 Afterword: ‘“I have not finished”’
Source:
Acceptable Words
Author(s):
Jeffrey Wainwright
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719067549.003.0011

Looking at the closing passage of ‘Discourse: For Stanley Rosen’, this chapter dwells on the penultimate line: ‘its bleak littoral swept by bursts of sunlight’. The littoral has held a powerful place in Geoffrey Hill's poetic imagination right from the beginning. In ‘Discourse: For Stanley Rosen’, littoral and sunlight work as a metaphor for ‘well dug-in language’ itself. All of Hill's work in the tilth of language knows that metaphor is but one instance of its approximate nature, that it ‘pitches us as it finds’. But his wintry, hedged, clouded, ‘rare pale’ sunlights might sometimes pitch him, and so his readers, beyond labouring.

Keywords:   Geoffrey Hill, Stanley Rosen, littoral, poetic imagination, sunlight, poetic metaphor

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