Mercian Hymns - Geoffrey Hill - Complete Review.
Both King Log and Mercian Hymns, a series of prose poems combining memories of Hill’s childhood with tales of the eighth-century Mercian king, Offa, are acclaimed for their use of Christian symbolism combined with what Craig Raine called the “high seriousness” of the poet’s style.
The Old English Martyrology is a collection of over 230 hagiographies, probably compiled in Mercia, or by someone who wrote in the Mercian dialect of Old English, in the second half of the 9th century. Six Mercian hymns are included in the Anglo-Saxon glosses to the Vespasian Psalter; they include the Benedictus and the Magnificat.
Mercian Hymns. by Geoffrey Hill. 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: moneychanger.
About this Item: Published by Andre Deutsch, London, 1971., 30 pages, list of hymns and acknowledegments at rear, part of the publisher's paperback poets series, 'Poetry Book Society Choice' stated on front cover First Paperback Edition, a nice bright copy, slight tanning to rear cover, in very good condition 22 x 14 cm Paperback ISBN: 233957715.
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Mercian Hymns showed me that there could be a poetry that was very much here, in the England where I lived, but still connected to the world of myth we carry with us. History and myth didn’t only belong to poet-spirit-guides who lived on a moor and shouted back findings on what life was really about.
It explores notions of empathy and historical continuity in Mercian Hymns. and analyses Hill's ambiguous evocation of his Anglo-Saxon roots in the context of contemporary political discourse. Chapter V discusses the ways in which Roy Fisher enacts different apprehensions of time and history in the dialectical structure of A Furnace, and relates them to the thought of John Cowper Powys.