Tuesday, April 07, 2009
I never know quite what to say about poetry; so much for a Cambridge English degree. What I like seems to go through two phases - an initial fondness which may go no further, but, if it does, I suddenly find myself utterly stricken. In neither phase am I capable of explaining my enthusiasm. I have just moved to phase two with Geoffrey Hill. It happened when I was killing time between events at the Oxford Literary Festival. I idly read In Ipsley Church Lane - it's in three parts but I can only find the first online. Fondness was replaced by the authentic shiver and I read again, and again. I have now read the three poems at least twenty times and it's still not enough. Don't ask me why. Well, I will say 'feckless grief' is at the heart of the matter, the impossibility of consolation, that and the great scream of things.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 4:56 am