In memoriam: Geoffrey Hill

by Simon Collings

Sad news of Geoffrey Hill’s death on 30 June. He was a towering figure in the world of poetry, and his influence will be much missed.  In the current issue on PN Review (no. 260) I have an article on Hill’s ‘Pindarics’, which I hope in some small way will serve as a tribute. Hill published a version of ‘Pindarics’ in Without Title in 2006, but then revised and expanded the work, publishing a new version in Broken Hierarchies in 2013. The work is addressed to the Italian poet Cesare Pavese. In the revised version Hill  added a considerable amount of material dealing with the frustrations of sexual relationships. Pavese had many problems in his relationships with women and killed himself after a failed affair with an American actress. In the essay I’ve tried to unravel some of the threads running through the odes, and explain the references Hill makes to Pavese and other sources.