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The Triumph of Love (1998)

The Triumph of Love (1998)

(p.72) 7 The Triumph of Love (1998)
Acceptable Words
Jeffrey Wainwright
Manchester University Press

There are many themes in The Triumph of Love. This chapter's reading of the poem is dominated by Hill's effort to grapple with, to honour and in some sense to do justice by, all these unlived and unliveable lives—‘the brute mass and detail of the world’. There is no ‘wondrous story’ readily available in The Triumph of Love. Indeed the word ‘love’ rarely appears, and then in a heavily defended context as though its utterance is hard-won. It might not seem surprising that The Triumph of Love includes a more evidently autobiographical mode than any of his previous work, save perhaps for Mercian Hymns. This appears primarily in childhood recollection, coinciding with the war and immediately postwar years.

Keywords:   Geoffrey Hill, love, The Triumph of Love, autobiography, Mercian Hymns

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