Two Poems By Geoffrey Hill
August has been a terribly hectic month for me so far, and that has taken its toll on my blogging. For years, my aim has been to provide at least four blogpost each month, and sometimes this can only be achieved by some filler-pieces like the one you are reading now. Nonetheless, I want also these filler-pieces to be meaningful or to be worth reading, and so I have decided this time to unearth two lesser-known poems by one of my favourite poets, Geoffrey Hill. Frequent readers of this blog will have noticed my love for his verses several times, and indeed this is only one of several blogposts featuring his poetry. These poems are both taken from his first collection, For the Unfallen (1959).
Lucifer blazing in superb effigies
Among the world's ambitious tragedies,
Heaven-sent gift to the dark ages,
Now, in the finest-possible light,
We approach you; can estimate
Your not unnatural height.
Though the descrete progeny,
Out of their swim, go deflated and dry,
We know the feel of you, archaic beauty,
Between the tombs, where the tombs still extrude,
Overshadowing the sun-struck world:
(The shadow-god envisaged in no cloud)
Orpheus and Eurydice
Though there are wild dogs
Infesting the roads
We hace recitals, catalogues
Of protected birds;
And the rare pale sun
To water our days.
Men turn to savagery now or turn
To the laws'
Immutable black and red.
To be judged for his song,
Traversing the still-moist dead,
Love goes, carrying compassion
To the rawly-difficult;
His countenance, his hands' motion,
Serene even to a fault.
Epitaph for Geoffrey Hill
A selection of Geoffrey Hill's poems
Damon's Lament for his Clorinda, Yorkshire 1654
The Herefordshire Carol