We speak of memorizing as getting something 'by heart,' which really means 'by head.' But getting a poem or prose passage truly 'by heart' implies getting it by mind and memory and understanding and delight.
A long project is like a secret houseguest, hidden in your study, waiting to be fed and visited.
The signs that stars compose, we need depend
Only on stars that are entirely there
And the apparent space between them. There
Never need be lines between them, puzzling
Our sense of what is what.
Poetry gets to be the poetry of life by successfully becoming first the poetry of poetry.
When Adam found his rib was gone
He cursed and sighed and cried and swore
And looked with cold resentment on
The creature God has used it for.
Geoffrey Hill may be the strongest and most original English poet of the second half of our fading century, although his work is by no means either easy or very popular. Dense, intricate, exceedingly compact, his poetry has always had great visionary force.
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