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    A Final Clarifying: Form, Error, and Alchemy in Geoffrey Hill's Ludo and the Daybooks


    O'Hanlon, Karl (2018) A Final Clarifying: Form, Error, and Alchemy in Geoffrey Hill's Ludo and the Daybooks. Etudes Anglaises, 71 (2). pp. 207-221. ISSN 0014-195X

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    Abstract

    n his 2012 Oxford Professor of Poetry lecture ‘Fields of Force’, Geoffrey Hill quoted W.B. Yeats to the effect that the old poet’s concentration must be ‘a final clarifying of lifelong attention upon the matter of tecnic’ [sic]. The final volumes of Geoffrey Hill’s Broken Hierarchies: Poems 1952-2012, Ludo andThe Daybooks, adopt an increasingly wayward, outlandish and constrictive series of poetic forms, including Skeltonics, John Donne’s stanzaic form from ‘A Nocturnal Upon S. Lucy’s Day’, Sidnean sapphics, Herbert’s calligrams, decasyllabic quatrains, and a canzone from an early poem of Robert Lowell, ‘Rebellion’. As Kenneth Haynes remarked in his lecture ‘Witness for the Witnesses: Geoffrey Hill and Lyric Memorialisation’ at the University of York, 17 May 2017, Hill’s last poems are a response to his discovery of new forms of error – new things to be held off, repudiated, driven against. In the outrageous and extravagant forms adopted, Hill explores the burden of error and failure. This chapter will examine the relationship of Hill’s late forms to error and failure, critically evaluating the aesthetic, ethical, and “metaphysical” achievements (and misfires, wrong notes) of the last work.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Final Clarifying; Form; Error; Alchemy; Geoffrey Hill; Ludo; Daybooks;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > School of English, Media & Theatre Studies > English
    Item ID: 12947
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.3917/etan.712.0207
    Depositing User: Karl O'Hanlon
    Date Deposited: 20 May 2020 13:53
    Journal or Publication Title: Etudes Anglaises
    Publisher: Editions Klincksieck
    Refereed: Yes
    URI:

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