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所跟帖: yezi 贾平凹的《废都》   2016-07-12 13:13:18  


作者: yezi   zt: One of Britain's finest poet Sir Geoffrey Hill died ... 2016-07-13 01:20:02  [点击:287]
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/01/geoffrey-hill-obituary

After he went to the US, he was diagnosed as having suffered, since childhood, from chronic depression, and “various exhausting obsessive-compulsive disorders”; and the prescription of Prozac transformed his life. Hill had, in his critical work, written with sympathy and tact of the religious writers who suffered from neurasthenic difficulties, and later was quite open about his own case, speaking about it in interview, and in the poems.

Prozac he described as “a signal / mystery, mercy, of these latter days”. Another factor in his eventual happiness was surely his marriage in 1987 to Alice Goodman. With her, he had a daughter, Alberta; he also had four children, Julian, Andrew, Jeremy and Bethany, from his first marriage, to Nancy Whittaker, which had ended in divorce.

Goodman was the librettist of John Adams’s operas Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer. In 1990, she was received into the Church of England, and in 2001 was ordained as an Anglican priest. Hill described his wife as one of the few people whose comments on his work he would always listen to – “99% of the time she’s right” – and introduced Hill to some diverse and surprising influences, such as the poet Frank O’Hara and the choreographer and dancer Mark Morris, whom Hill startlingly compared to Dryden. In Speech! Speech! there are a handful of subtle, tender lines that are surely addressed to his wife, and about his happiness: “Ageing, I am happy ... Togetherness after 16 years? You’re on.”

Hill’s last work had a mixed reception. The quartet of books from Canaan to The Orchards of Syon (2002) constitute a modern Pilgrim’s Progress, Hill’s epic conflation of autobiography, theology and history, rendered in defiantly modernist style and startling in its juxtapositions of the contemporary and the eternal. It is work that will undoubtedly take a great deal of time and a collaboration of commentators and critics to fully appreciate; but in its extent and ambition, and its ethical commitment, it already stands out amid the typical English poetry of its time. It seems certain that his work will survive long after the work of more fashionable poets has faded from view.

As professor of poetry at Oxford (2010-15), Hill delivered 15 lectures on writers from Shakespeare to Larkin, occasionally making sharp remarks about the state of contemporary poetry and the current poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. He was knighted in 2012.

He continued to write – he had a lead essay in the Times Literary Supplement in March this year, on Charles Williams. For the first time in 40 years, he had also begun to play the piano.

He is survived by Alice and his children.

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