Canaan

Overview

Here is public poetry of uncommon moral urgency: it bears witness to the sufferings of the innocent at the hands of history and to the martyrdom of those who have dared look history in the eye. "Rich, quarrelsome...handsome and brutish...Hill's poetry is the major achievement of late-twentieth-century verse," says The New Criterion. "Canaan is one of the few serious books we will have to mark the millennium."

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Paperback (1ST MARINE)
$9.79
BN.com price
(Save 10%)$10.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (14) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $7.04   
  • Used (8) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Here is public poetry of uncommon moral urgency: it bears witness to the sufferings of the innocent at the hands of history and to the martyrdom of those who have dared look history in the eye. "Rich, quarrelsome...handsome and brutish...Hill's poetry is the major achievement of late-twentieth-century verse," says The New Criterion. "Canaan is one of the few serious books we will have to mark the millennium."

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Art of the highest lyric intensity . . . it stands with the work of Mandelstam and Montale." Boston Globe

"Among our finest poets, Geoffrey Hill is at present the most European - in his Latinity, in his dramatization of the Christian condition, in his political intensity."—George Steiner

James Wood
No contemporary poet has a more contrite ear for the confessions, and the betrayals, of words....Being a communion with the dead, his verse is crowded with elegies...
London Review of Books
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The poet of this apocalyptic sixth collection looks down over the moral fate of England, inextricable from its own history and that of Europe, as Moses looked down from Pisgah. More savage in his indictments than Eliot in Four Quartets, Hill here seeks the nation's soul, repeatedly referred to as lost within a biblical "Dark-land," finds it and condemns it as beyond redemption: "Whereto England rous'd,/ ignorant, her inane/ Midas-like hunger: smoke/ engrossed, cloud clumbered,// a spectral people/ raking among the ash." That a late-20th-century poet would even attempt judgments on this order is rare enough, but that one could make the writing and reading of such poems seem not only relevant but essential to the good life, is a testament to Hill's extraordinary powers. Hill, who has been living and teaching in Boston since 1988, published a third of these 39 poems in 1994's New & Collected Poems but has here compiled a volume of dazzling coherence and cumulative effect. Be forewarned, though: those without a superlative command of the Bible, a knowledge of arcane figures in British and European history and some German and Latin should be prepared to read this collection in the reference room of a well-stocked library: "Time passes, strengthening and fading. Europa/ hetaera displays her parts, her triumph/ to tax even Drer's resplendent economy/ in rictus and graven sorrow." While addressed to a country whose history is quite different from our own, these poems, difficult as they are, speak to the collective spirit of a "star-gazing planet out of which/ lamentation is spun." (Oct.)
Wall Street Journal
"Hill's poems demand and reward reading upon reading: the ascent is steep,t he view austerely sublime."
James Wood
No contemporary poet has a more contrite ear for the confessions, and the betrayals, of words....Being a communion with the dead, his verse is crowded with elegies...
London Review of Books
The New Criterion
Rich, quarrelsome...handsome and brutish...Hill's poetry is the major achievement of late-20th-century verse....Canaan is one of the few serious books we will have to mark the millennium.
Denis Donoghue
[Hill] is a strange, rebarbative force in poetry, a lover of causes he fears are decisively lost, and for that reason he is dismayed, and then enraged. It is the rage that stays with us when we think of the poems.
The NY Review of Books
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395924860
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/11/1998
  • Edition description: 1ST MARINE
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Meet the Author

Geofrey Hill was born in 1932, in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire. He is the author of five books of poetry, two volumes of literary criticism, and a stage version of Isben's poetic drama Brand. He teaches in the University Professors Program at Boston University. He currently resides in Brookline, Massachusetts

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

To the High Court of Parliament ('Where's probity in this ...') 1
That Man as a Rational Animal Desires the Knowledge Which Is His Perfection 2
Sobieski's Shield 3
Of Coming into Being and Passing Away 4
De Anima 5
Whether the Virtues Are Emotions 6
Whether Moral Virtue Comes by Habituation 7
Ritornelli 8
To William Cobbett: In Absentia 9
Canaan 10
Dark-Land ('Aspiring Grantham ...') 13
Mysticism and Democracy ('You see the terrain ...') 14
Scenes with Harlequins 15
Postlude 23
Algabal 24
Mysticism and Democracy ('Do not stand witness ...') 25
Dark-Land ('Wherein Wesley stood ...') 26
To the Nieuport Scout 27
Parentalia ('The here-and-now finds vigil ...') 28
Respublica 29
De Jure Belli ac Pacis 30
Cycle 38
Sorrel 40
Parentalia ('Go your ways ...') 41
Mysticism and Democracy ('To the Evangelicals ...') 42
Churchill's Funeral 43
To the High Court of Parliament ('Keep what in repair ...') 51
Pisgah 52
To John Constable: In Absentia 53
Dark-Land ('Are these last things ...') 54
Mysticism and Democracy ('Ill-conceived ...') 55
Ezekiel's Wheel 56
Psalms of Assize 60
A Song of Degrees 67
Of Constancy and Measure 68
To William Law: In Absentia 69
Concerning Inheritance 70
Mysticism and Democracy ('Great gifts foreclosed on ...') 71
To the High Court of Parliament ('- who could outbalance ...') 72
Acknowledgements 75
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)