Acceptable Words: Essays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill

Acceptable Words: Essays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill

by Jeffrey Wainwright


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Acceptable Words: Essays on the Poetry of Geoffrey Hill by Jeffrey Wainwright

Geoffrey Hill has said that some great poetry 'recognises that words fail us'. These essays explore Hill's struggle over fifty years with the recalcitrance of language. This book seeks to show how all his work is marked by the quest for the right pitch of utterance whether it is sorrowing, angry, satiric or erotic. It 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'.

This book is the most comprehensive and up-to-date critical work on Geoffrey Hill so far, covering all his work up to 'Scenes from Comus' (2005), as well as some poems yet to appear in book form. It aims to contribute something to the understanding of his poetry among those who have followed it for many years and students and other readers encountering this major poet for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780719067556
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publication date: 02/28/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Jeffrey Wainwright is a poet and Professor of English at Manchester Metropolitan University

Table of Contents


Short Titles

1. 'Acceptable Words'

2. 'The speechless dead': 'King Log' (1968)

3. Poet, lover, liar: 'Lachrimae' (1975)

4. 'Our love is what we love to have': 'Tenebrae' (1978)

5. Things and words: 'The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy' (1983)

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

7. 'The Triumph of Love' (1998)

8. 'Beauty is difficult': 'Speech! Speech!' (2000)

9. 'Here and there I pull a flower': 'The Orchards of Syon' (2002)

10. 'In wintry solstice like the shorten'd light': 'Scenes from Comus' (2005)

11. Afterword: '"I have not finished"'

Notes and references


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