For the past month this blog has been dormant as a consequence of my thesis work. I have now handed in the thesis to the Department and await the defence in medio December. I'm nonetheless trying to keep up four posts a month, and to achieve this I'm going the easy route: poetry posts. The first one is Geoffrey Hill's second sonnet from his cycle An Apology for the Revival of Christian Architecture in England, printed in Tenebrae, 1978.
II) Damon's Lament for his Clorinda, Yorkshire 1654
November rips gold foil from the oak ridges.
Dour folk huddle in High Hoyland, Penistone.
The tributaries of the Sheaf and Don
bulge their dull spate, cramming the poor bridges.
The North Sea batters our shepherds’ cottages
from sixty miles. No sooner has the sun
swung clear above earth’s rim than it is gone.
We live like gleaners of its vestiges
knowing we flourish, though each year a child
with the set face of a tomb-weeper is put down
for ever and ever. Why does the air grow cold
in the region of mirrors? And who is this clown
doffing his mask at the masked threshold
to selfless raptures that are all his own?