Hill, Geoffrey

Hill, Geoffrey (Sir Geoffrey William Hill), 1932–2016, English poet, b. Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, grad. Oxford. Widely hailed as one of the finest poets of his generation, he wrote complex, densely allusive verse of high moral seriousness. His deep involvement with the history and landscape of his native county and of England is displayed in King Log (1968) and the Whitbread Prize-winning prose poems of Mercian Hyms (1971). Hill was also a profoundly religious poet, as evidenced in the devotional verse of Tenebrae (1978), and concerned with modern society's violence, as in The Triumph of Love (1998). His many other collections include Canaan (1996), Speech! Speech! (2000), The Orchards of Syon (2002), and Odi Barbare (2012). His critical works are The Lords of Limit (1984), The Enemy's Country (1991), Style and Faith (2003), and Collected Critical Writings (2008). Hill taught at the Univ. of Leeds (1954–80) and Emmanuel College, Cambridge (1981–88), then at Boston Univ. (emeritus after 2006), where he cofounded and codirected the Editorial Institute, a training facility for scholars. From 2010 to 2015 he was professor of poetry at Oxford; he was knighted in 2012.

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