A pale view of Hill

A student of Geoffrey Hill reflects on his passing. It’s so nice to see the poet as professor: “But forget that sour expression or what some people have said about his crankiness — I want you to know that Hill was a warm, generous teacher. “

Nick Owchar

HILL PICFor I will consider my cat Jeoffry…

We lost a major figure in the world of poetry at the end of June, Geoffrey Hill, and as I’ve scrolled through the posts of Call of the Siren, I realize I haven’t written very much lately … but when I have, some of it seems to have been about Hill.

Maybe that’s because no one – aside from talking to W.S. Merwin a few years ago and listening to him describe visiting Ezra Pound – has given me a greater sense of poetry’s living tradition than when I sat at a table and listened to Hill talk about Eliot, Hopkins, Thomas Wyatt, Dryden, Auden, Lowell, Southwell, and so many others.

I studied with him in the graduate program at Boston University in the 1990s.   When I enrolled, I had no idea the maker of Mercian Hymns was on the faculty, and when I learned that…

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