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European Voices in the Poetry of W.B. Yeats and Geoffrey Hill

Edited By Ineke Bockting, Jennifer Kilgore-Caradec and Elizabeth Muller

«The duty of the present is neither to copy nor to deny the past but to resurrect it», wrote W.H. Auden in 1948. The European voices that William B. Yeats and Sir Geoffrey Hill choose to resurrect reflect their shared hope in the future of humanity, as the essays in this book demonstrate. From Greek and Roman voices, through the Italian Renaissance and into our troubled present, these poets use myth, as Auden suggested, «to make private experiences public» and «public events personal». They write about the past to maintain continuity and provide the transmission of cultural values or to avoid the repetition of atrocities. As visionary poets, their talents at reviving the poetic voice captivate and inspire. The essays in this volume elucidate both their poetic vision and resistance.
The chapters in this book derive from an international conference on Yeats and Hill that took place at the Institut Catholique de Paris in 2013. They are preceded by abstracts and a general introduction in French.
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On Péguy: An Interview with Geoffrey Hill


In September 2013, Geoffrey Hill and I traveled to Villeroy, where Charles Péguy died in battle in 1914. Hill attended a memorial mass for the 99th anniversary of Charles Péguy’s death and took part in a ceremony at the memorial to Péguy and the men of his company who fell with him. The year was also the 30th anniversary of the publication of The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy. I brought with me a copy of the first of the notebooks Hill kept while drafting the poem. I have condensed below a few days’ conversations about Péguy and Hill’s poem.

and the face of the looming American poet, the strangled Bostonian

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