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History as poetry: ‘Churchill's Funeral’ and ‘De Jure Belli ac Pacis’ (Canaan, 1996)

History as poetry: ‘Churchill's Funeral’ and ‘De Jure Belli ac Pacis’ (Canaan, 1996)

Chapter:
(p.58) 6 History as poetry: ‘Churchill's Funeral’ and ‘De Jure Belli ac Pacis’ (Canaan, 1996)
Source:
Acceptable Words
Author(s):
Jeffrey Wainwright
Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719067549.003.0006

The epigraph Geoffrey Hill uses for the first poem in his sequence ‘Churchill's Funeral’ is from Edward Elgar's note on the ‘Cockaigne’ overture and contains the phrase ‘knowing well the history’. It is apparent that Hill's poetry has always known history very well indeed. Elgar's words point to the way in which music, like poetry, can transmute ‘history’ into its own currency.

Keywords:   Geoffrey Hill, epigraph, Edward Elgar, Cockaigne overture, music

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