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The Alvarez GenerationThom Gunn, Geoffrey Hill, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Peter Porter$
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William Wootten

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789627947

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789627947.001.0001

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Geoffrey Hill’s New Poetry

Geoffrey Hill’s New Poetry

(p.193) Chapter Fifteen Geoffrey Hill’s New Poetry
The Alvarez Generation

William Wootten

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the poetry of Geoffrey Hill, a poet of the New Poetry generation who has over the last two decades been more active and in some ways more extremist than he ever was before. From 1996's Canaan on, the costive impersonality of Hill's earlier work has been shredded to reveal a poet more nakedly rivalrous and rancorous, more overtly ungenteel, more flagrantly assertive of bad taste and distaste than he ever was before. Hill has not been reckless with the details of his intimates, but, making his age, his depression, and its medication the subject for verse, he is much closer to Plath's domain than he once was. Indeed, in his poetry, the ethical problem of relating to portrayals of human suffering in the world and in history has taken on a much more personal colouring.

Keywords:   poets, poetry, poems, Geoffrey Hill, Sylvia Plath, human suffering

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