Archive for February 7th, 2012

On Geoffrey Hill: this rumor has the ring of truth

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Geoffrey Hill: Intense

My internet connection in Paris has proven somewhat erratic, and right now I only have time to repeat a 15-year-old anecdote I heard at the American University of Paris’ Center for Writers and Translators.

I can’t promise it is true, but it certainly has the ring of authenticity.

After Geoffrey Hill gave a reading at Boston University, the usual Q&A followed.

Then, the question all poets detest – asked, perhaps by a journalist? “Where does your poetic inspiration come from?”

Only the question wasn’t that short.  Hill, apparently, became more and more intense as the question grew longer and longer and more flowery.  “Verbal adumbrations!” he kept insisting.  “Verbal adumbrations.”

Said the professor relaying the anecdote: “That phrase has stuck in my mind for 15 years.”

Now it’s sticking in mine.

More from Paris later.