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Best Famous Geoffrey Hill Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Geoffrey Hill poems. This is a select list of the best famous Geoffrey Hill poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Geoffrey Hill poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of Geoffrey Hill poems.

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by Barry Tebb | |


 It was like chucking-out time

In a rough Victorian pub

Cherubic Dylan was first to go

Lachrymose but with a show

Of strength, yelling "Buggerall,

Buggerall, this is my boat-house

In Laugherne, these are my books,

My prizes, I ride every wave-crest,

My loves are legion.
What’s this You’re saying about fashion? Others follow where I lead, Schoolchildren copy my verse, No anthology omits me Put me down! Put me down! George Barker was too far gone To take them on And moaned about a list In a crystal cave of making beneath The basement of the Regent Street Polytechnic.
Edith Sitwell was rigid in a carved High-backed chair, regally aloof, Her ringed fingers gripping the arms, Her eyes flashing diamonds of contempt.
"A la lampe! A la lampe!" A serious fight broke out in the saloon bar When they tried to turf Redgrove out: His image of the poet as violent man Broke loose and in his turtle-necked Seaman’s jersey he shouted, "Man the barricades!" A tirade of nature-paths and voters For a poetry of love mixed it with The chuckers-out; Kennedy, Morley And Hulse suffered a sharp repulse.
Heath-Stubbs was making death stabs With his blindman’s stick at the ankles Of detractors from his position under The high table of chivalry, intoning A prayer to raise the spirit Of Sidney Keyes.
Geoffrey Hill had Merlin and Arthur Beside him and was whirling an axe To great effect, headless New Gen poets Running amok.
Andrew Crozier was leading a counter-attack With Caddy and Hinton neck and neck And Silkin was quietly garrotting While he kept on smiling.
Price Turner was so happy at the slaughter He hanged himself in a corner And Hughes brought the Great White Boar To wallow in all the gore While I rode centaur Charles Tomlinson had sent for.

by Barry Tebb | |


 Arriving for a reading an hour too early:

Ruefully, the general manager stopped putting out the chairs.
“You don’t get any help these days.
I have To sort out everything from furniture to faxes.
Why not wander round the park? There are ducks And benches where you can sit and watch.
” I realized it was going to be a hungry evening With not even a packet of crisps in sight.
I parked my friend on a bench and wandered Down Highgate Hill, realising where I was From the Waterlow Unit and the Whittington’s A&E.
Some say they know their way by the pubs But I find psychiatric units more useful.
At a reading like this you never know just who Might have a do and need some Haldol fast.
(Especially if the poet hovering round sanity’s border Should chance upon the critic who thinks his Word Is law and order - the first’s a devotee of a Krishna cult For rich retirees; the second wrote a good book once On early Hughes, but goes off if you don’t share his ‘Thought through views’).
In the event the only happening was a turbanned Sikh Having a go at an Arts Council guru leaning in a stick.
I remembered Martin Bell’s story of how Scannell the boxer Broke - was it Redgrove’s brolly? - over his head and had To hide in the Gents till time was called.
James Simmons boasted of how the pint he threw At Anthony Thwaite hit Geoffrey Hill instead.
O, for the company of the missing and the dead Martin Bell, Wendy Oliver, Iris and Ted.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

Mercian Hymns VII

 Gasholders, russet among fields.
Milldams, marlpools that lay unstirring.
Coagulations of frogs: once, with branches and half-bricks, he battered a ditchful; then sidled away from the stillness and silence.
Ceolred was his friend and remained so, even after the day of the lost fighter: a biplane, already obsolete and irreplaceable, two inches of heavy snub silver.
Ceolred let it spin through a hole in the classroom-floorboards, softly, into the rat-droppings and coins.
After school he lured Ceolred, who was sniggering with fright, down to the old quarries, and flayed him.
Then, leaving Ceolred, he journeyed for hours, calm and alone, in his private derelict sandlorry named Albion.

More great poems below...

by Geoffrey Hill | |

Mercian Hymns XXV

 Brooding on the eightieth letter of Fors Clavigera, I speak this in
memory of my grandmother, whose childhood and prime womanhood were spent
in the nailer's darg.
The nailshop stood back of the cottage, by the fold.
It reeked stale mineral sweat.
Sparks had furred its low roof.
In dawn-light the troughed water floated a damson-bloom of dust --- not to be shaken by posthumous clamour.
It is one thing to celebrate the 'quick forge', another to cradle a face hare-lipped by the searing wire.
Brooding on the eightieth letter of Fors Clavigera, I speak this in memory of my grandmother, whose childhood and prime womanhood were spent in the nailer's darg.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

Mercian Hymns XVII

 He drove at evening through the hushed Vosges.
The car radio, glimmering, received broken utterance from the horizon of storms.
'God's honours - our bikes touched: he skidded and came off.
' 'Liar.
' A timid father's protective bellow.
Disfigurement of a village king.
'Just look at the bugger.
' His maroon GT chanted then overtook.
He lavished on the high valleys its haleine.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

September Song

 born 19.
32 - deported 24.
42 Undesirable you may have been, untouchable you were not.
Not forgotten or passed over at the proper time.
As estimated, you died.
Things marched, sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented terror, so many routine cries.
(I have made an elegy for myself it is true) September fattens on vines.
Roses flake from the wall.
The smoke of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.
This is plenty.
This is more than enough.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

Requiem for the Plantagenet Kings

 For whom the possessed sea littered, on both shores,
Ruinous arms; being fired, and for good,
To sound the constitution of just wards,
Men, in their eloquent fashion, understood.
Relieved of soul, the dropping-back of dust, Their usage, pride, admitted within doors; At home, under caved chantries, set in trust, With well-dressed alabaster and proved spurs They lie; they lie; secure in the decay Of blood, blood-marks, crowns hacked and coveted, Before the scouring fires of trial-day Alight on men; before sleeked groin, gored head, Budge through the clay and gravel, and the sea Across daubed rock evacuates its dead.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

In Memory of Jane Fraser

 When snow like sheep lay in the fold
And wind went begging at each door,
And the far hills were blue with cold,
And a cloud shroud lay on the moor,

She kept the siege.
And every day We watched her brooding over death Like a strong bird above its prey.
The room filled with the kettle's breath.
Damp curtains glued against the pane Sealed time away.
Her body froze As if to freeze us all, and chain Creation to a stunned repose.
She died before the world could stir.
In March the ice unloosed the brook And water ruffled the sun's hair.
Dead cones upon the alder shook.

by Geoffrey Hill | |

Mercian Hymns I

 King of the perennial holly-groves, the riven sandstone: overlord of the
M5: architect of the historic rampart and ditch, the citadel at
Tamworth, the summer hermitage in Holy Cross: guardian of the Welsh
Bridge and the Iron Bridge: contractor to the desirable new estates:
saltmaster: money-changer: commissioner for oaths: martyrologist: the
friend of Charlemagne.
'I liked that,' said Offa, 'sing it again.