Afterword: ‘“I have not finished”’

Jeffrey Wainwright

in Acceptable Words

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780719067549
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781703359 | DOI:
Afterword: ‘“I have not finished”’

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Looking at the closing passage of ‘Discourse: For Stanley Rosen’, this chapter dwells on the penultimate line: ‘its bleak littoral swept by bursts of sunlight’. The littoral has held a powerful place in Geoffrey Hill's poetic imagination right from the beginning. In ‘Discourse: For Stanley Rosen’, littoral and sunlight work as a metaphor for ‘well dug-in language’ itself. All of Hill's work in the tilth of language knows that metaphor is but one instance of its approximate nature, that it ‘pitches us as it finds’. But his wintry, hedged, clouded, ‘rare pale’ sunlights might sometimes pitch him, and so his readers, beyond labouring.

Keywords: Geoffrey Hill; Stanley Rosen; littoral; poetic imagination; sunlight; poetic metaphor

Chapter.  620 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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