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Letter: Sir Geoffrey Hill obituary


While I have always struggled to appreciate the poetry of Sir Geoffrey Hill, I remember him well as a lecturer at Leeds University. A reading of some of his poems to a smallish group of students one evening demonstrated a real presence and a fine speaking voice reminiscent of Richard Burton.

Beneath a curmudgeonly exterior there was an essential kindness. But students could provoke explosions from this demanding and formidably eloquent speaker. On one occasion, he lambasted his audience for dutifully writing down what he was saying about Shakespeare: “For God’s sake! Put your pens down! A lecture is to go away and meditate upon!”

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