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the Complete Review
the complete review - poetry


New & Collected Poems

Geoffrey Hill

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To purchase New & Collected Poems 1952-1992

Title: New & Collected Poems 1952-1992
Author: Geoffrey Hill
Genre: Poetry
Written: 1952-92 (1994)
Length: 213 pages
Availability: New & Collected Poems 1952-1992 - US
Collected Poems - UK (1990)
. New & Collected Poems, 1952-1992 - Canada

Poems from:

  • For the Unfallen (1959)
  • King Log (1968)
  • Mercian Hymns (1971)
  • Tenebrae (1978)
  • The Mystery of the Charity of Charles Péguy (1983)
  • New Poems (1992)

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Our Assessment:

B : powerful, though often obscure poetry

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
The Hudson Review . Winter/1995 David Dooley
The New Criterion . 3/1994 William Logan
The New Yorker . 23/1/1995 .
Partisan Review . Winter/1996 Stephen Meyer
Poetry B 12/1994 Robert B. Shaw
Publishers Weekly . 17/1/1994 Penny Kaganoff
The Sewanee Review A Spring/1997 David Middleton
The Washington Post . 27/3/1994 Michael Dirda

  From the Reviews:
  • "Terse in phrasing, dense with uncomfortable messages, aloof in tone, his poems command respect even as one wonders whether reading them should seem so much like performing a penance." - Robert B. Shaw, Poetry

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

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The complete review's Review:

       A comprehensive collection covering a large part of the esteemed poet's career this is a useful, varied volume. The dense, allusive poetry of Hill appeals to us. He is an intelligent poet with a fine sense of language. His poetry is tightly compressed and demanding, though this volume benefits from the variety offered
       The Mercian Hymns is an autobiographical series that also recounts the story of King Offa, an insightful collection. King Log is a darker series of poems including such pieces as the brilliant Ovid in the Third Reich. Throughout we can follow the evolution of the poet, as he experiments (and succeeds) with a variety of forms and subjects.
       The poems are complex -- brief and lyrical, but difficult -- and he is too religious for our taste, but well worth the considerable effort required. Hill is one of the major English-language poets, and this an exemplary collection. It's not for everyone, but it deserves a wide audience. Give it a try.

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Reviews: Reviews of collections contained in this Volume: Geoffrey Hill: Other books by Geoffrey Hill under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See also the index of Poetry under review

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About the Author:

       English poet Geoffrey Hill was born in 1932. A graduate of Keble College, Oxford, he has taught at the University of Leeds, at Cambridge, and at Boston University.

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