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I neglected to mention that Michael Schmidt's excellent editorial to PN Review no.168 is now online here at RSB. Schmidt seems to be one of the few critics around who has noticed how self-laceratingly, blackly funny the poet Geoffrey Hill is. And how bawdy too! Certainly, Hill is a far more approachable writer than the severe, arcane, opaque oracle he is sometimes painted as:


From its dedication to the Italian poet Eugenio Montale to its impassioned dialogue with the novelist, publisher and poet Cesare Pavese, who committed suicide in 1950, there is a fascinating erotic current. And the book is marked by Hill’s peculiar brand of humour, Old Testament and merciless and true, not least when he reflects on himself.

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