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Geoffrey Hill and his Contexts


Piers Pennington and Matthew Sperling

Geoffrey Hill is one of the most significant poets currently at work in the English language. The essays gathered in this book present a number of new contexts in which to explore a wide range of his writings, from the poems he wrote as an undergraduate to the recent volumes A Treatise of Civil Power (2007) and Collected Critical Writings (2008). Connections are made between the early and the later poetry, and between the poetry and the criticism, and archival materials are considered along with the published texts. The essays also make comparisons across disciplines, discussing Hill’s work in relation to theology, philosophy and intellectual history, to literature from other languages, and to the other arts. In doing so, they cast fresh light upon Hill’s dense, original and sometimes challenging writings, opening them up in new ways for all readers of his work.


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Abbreviations ix


Abbreviations References to the following books by Geof frey Hill are incorporated par- enthetically into the text, using the following abbreviations: C Canaan (London: Penguin, 1996) CCW Collected Critical Writings, ed. Kenneth Haynes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) CP Collected Poems (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985) OS Orchards of Syon (London: Penguin, 2002) SC Scenes from Comus (London: Penguin, 2005) SS Speech! Speech! (London: Penguin, 2001) TCP A Treatise of Civil Power (London: Penguin, 2007) TL The Triumph of Love (London: Penguin, 1998) WT Without Title (London: Penguin, 2006) Where poems have been collected into the Collected Poems and essays into the Collected Critical Writings, reference is made to these later editions, except in a small number of instances where specific reference is made to a feature of the first edition not preserved in the later one. These are indi- cated in footnotes. For the sequences The Triumph of Love, Speech! Speech! and The Orchards of Syon references are given to the sections numbered within the books, in either Arabic or Roman numerals. For Scenes from Comus, references are given to part and to poem, so that, for instance, poem ten in part one is 1.10. All other references are given to page number. x Abbreviations References to the Oxford English Dictionary are also incorporated parenthetically into the text, using the abbreviation OED and naming the lemma under which the definition cited is to be found. All references are made to the online edition at . All quotations from the Bible are taken...

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