RIP Geoffrey Hill
Take a moment to remember the mighty talent of late, great poet Geoffrey Hill
His poetry has been praised by figures within and without the literary world: in 2012 MP Michael Gove described him as "our greatest living poet" and poet Seamus Heaney recommended him to be poet laureate in 2009, saying he would be "magnificent".
Geoffrey Hill reads his work at a Poetry Marathon in 2009.
We will remember the former Oxford University Professor of Poetry and icon of contemporary British poetry as one who dared to challenge his readers, confronting his audience with a demanding, abrasive aesthetic and tackling some of the most vexed issues of the twentieth and twenty-first century.
Here at Culture Whisper, we take a moment to remember this extract from his poem 'Funeral Music':
Not as we are but as we must appear,
Contractual ghosts of pity; not as we
Desire life but as they would have us live,
Set apart in timeless colloquy.
So it is required; so we bear witness,
Despite ourselves, to what is beyond us,
Each distant sphere of harmony forever
Poised, unanswerable. If it is without
Consequence when we vaunt and suffer, or
If it is not, all echoes are the same
In such eternity. Then tell me, love,
How that should comfort us—or anyone
Dragged half-unnerved out of this worldly place,
Crying to the end ‘I have not finished’.
Geoffrey Hill, 'Funeral Music' from New and Collected Poems 1952-1992