Just Concessions: Conviction, Persuasion, Coercion

Geoffrey Hill

in Speaking to You

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199657001
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742194 | DOI:
Just Concessions: Conviction, Persuasion, Coercion

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  • Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)


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This chapter focuses on Hill's use of address for persuasion and concession. These are nearly always pejorative terms in Hill, allied with weakness, susceptibility to coercion. Attentive to Wordsworth's ‘Convention of Cintra’ (quoted by Hill in The Triumph of Love) and to Wordsworth's sentiment that poetry must befit its audience and ‘adopt the very language of men’, this chapter questions the extent to which Hill's address similarly pursues a ‘struggle / for a noble vernacular’. To what extent are the speakers’ persuasively ‘humbled’ confessions deemed problematic in such work? This chapter focuses particularly on the essay ‘Our Word is Our Bond’ and on Hill's uneasy textual relationships with Eliot, Pound, and J. L. Austin.

Keywords: Geoffrey Hill; coercion; Wordsworth; romantic; Austin; Bond; Pound; Eliot

Chapter.  5677 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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