Geoffrey Hill ‘n gewilde aanstelling

Geoffrey Hill

Geoffrey Hill

Naas die posisie van poet laureate is die Oxford Professor of Poetry die mees invloedryke in Engeland. Waar die poet laureate grotendeels op die ontvangs en populariteit van poësie op die breë publiek ingestel is, gee die Oxford Professor of Poetry die pas aan ten opsigte van die onderrig van poësie aan hoofsaaklik tersiêre instellings in Engeland. Daarom is dit geen verrassing dat die nuus rondom die aanstelling van Geoffrey Hill in laasgenoemde pos verlede Vrydag met gróót entoesiasme verwelkom sal word nie … Veral nie na die skandaal wat verlede jaar se verkiesing gekenmerk het nadat eers Derek Wallcott en toe Ruth Padel onttrek het nie.

Andrew Motion, ‘n voormalige poet laureate, het hom soos volg oor Geoffrey Hill se aanstelling aan The Guardian uitgelaat: “He’s one of the two or three best poets writing in English, and an extremely interesting critic. The fit between the way he talks about his poems and the way he writes them, and what a serious university like Oxford is offering its students, is extremely good. Last year was so awful. It did damage to the post, and it gave a kind of weapon to people who want to beat up poetry in general. So the larger damage was also quite considerable. Hill’s such a big name … they’re lucky to have him.”

Dr. Seamus Perry, onder-voorsitter van die fakulteit by Oxford het Motion se uitspraak beaam: “He’s a poet of great eminence and power and also a great critic and a very, very fine lecturer – I think he’s got everything we hoped for. Having Geoffrey Hill in the chair, as the latest in a line of great critics, does really show that the chair did emerge intact from the scuffle.”

Uiteraard was Michael Horovitch, oor wie ek vroeër berig het, teleurgesteld: “I’ve unlimited admiration for [Hill’s] poems but less so for his prose. I’m not speaking from sour grapes here, I’m just saying Geoffrey will probably give great lectures but they won’t be anything different. He would have been giving similar lectures for some time, whereas like a lot of things to do with Oxbridge, I think big changes would be very welcome … I suggest that Geoffrey, like his poetry, won’t be that accessible.”

Tot dusver kon ek nog geen reaksie deur Hill self op die internet vind nie. Maar, by wyse van leesprikkel, een van sy gedigte volg hieronder.

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Op die webblad kan jy vanoggend twee nuwe stukke deur Desmond Painter lees: een oor José Saramago se afsterwe en een oor musiek. Andries Bezuidenhout vertel van ‘n besonderse aand by die Steak & Ale in Lyttelton, terwyl Johann Lodewyk Marais ons verder neem op die spore van Eugène Marais.

So, hê pret daarmee.

Mooi bly.

LE

 

September song

 

Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

(I have made
an elegy for myself it
is true)

September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

This is plenty. This is more than enough.

 

(c) Geoffrey Hill

 

  

 

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